Cape Town - South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan released his 2013 budget on Wednesday. Following are highlights:
BUDGET DEFICIT Budget deficit in 2013/14 seen at 4.2 percent of GDP, lower than a forecast of 4.6 percent in February and due to technical revision. The deficit is projected to narrow to 3.0 percent by 2016/17.
GROWTH Growth forecast is cut to 2.1 percent for 2013 from 2.7 percent seen in February. GDP is projected to grow to 3.0 percent in 2014 before reaching 3.5 percent in 2016.
INFLATION Inflation to average 5.9 percent in 2013, within upper limit of 3-6 percent target range, and to remain range-bound over the next three years. Inflation is seen easing to 5.6 percent in 2014 and further to 5.4 percent in 2015 and 2016.
REVENUE Total government revenue for 2013/14 estimated at 999 billion rand, or 28.7 percent of GDP, up from the 907 billion or 28.3 percent of GDP for 2012/13.
SPENDING Total government expenditure estimated at 1.14 trillion rand in 2013/14, or 32.8 percent of GDP, up from 1.04 trillion in 2012/13. Spending seen rising to 1.24 trillion rand and 1.34 trillion over the next two years.
DEBT Total net government debt estimated to hit 1.37 trillion rand, or 39.3 percent of GDP, by the end of 2013/14, rising to 1.99 trillion by 2016/17, or 43.9 percent of GDP.
BORROWING Net borrowing forecast revised down to 168 billion rand in 2013/14 from previous 178 billion. Borrowing rises to 183 billion in 2014/15 before declining to 164 billion in 2016/17.
CURRENT ACCOUNT Current account deficit expected to widen to 6.5 percent of GDP in 2013 from 6.3 percent in 2012. It is seen narrowing fractionally to 6.4 percent in 2014 before easing to 6.1 percent in 2016/17. - Reuters