Johannesburg - Government revenue grew by 0.4% year on year (y/y) in December to a record R102.5 billion‚ the National Treasury’s Exchequer Account showed on Wednesday.

As expenditure rose by 1.1% y/y to R82 billion‚ the fiscal surplus dropped by 2.3% y/y to R20.456bn. At the end of 2012‚ the government had a cash balance of R177.7 billion.

In November government revenue showed a 3.6% y/y increase‚ while spending jumped by 8.3% y/y.

The combination meant that the fiscal balance was a R33.3 billion deficit in November after a record monthly deficit of R57.5 billion in July.

The revenue increase in the first nine months of the 2012/13 fiscal year was 7.1% compared with 10.5% for the full 2011/12 fiscal year and 15.3% for the full 2010/11 fiscal year‚ while expenditure was up 8.6% y/y after a 10.5% gain in 2011/12 and a 7.8% rise in 2011/12.

The fiscal deficit in the first nine months of the 2012/13 fiscal year grew by 15.l% y/y to R139.6 billion.

The 2013/14 budget will be tabled in Parliament on February 27. - I-Net Bridge