2018 budget deficit hiked

The government has agreed to set a larger budget deficit of 450 billion baht for fiscal 2018, marking a fresh attempt to rev up the economy. The next fiscal year’s budget expenditure is set at 2.9 trillion baht, with revenue collection of 2.45 trillion baht, leaving a deficit of 450 billion, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. The 450-billion-baht budget deficit appears to be the highest since the military-backed government took the helm. The government ran a budget deficit of 250 billion baht for fiscal 2015, unchanged from the previous year, before widening the deficit to 390 billion for fiscal 2016. It is maintaining a budget deficit of 390 billion baht for fiscal 2017. The 2018 fiscal budget is based on assumptions of real GDP growth of 3.8% and inflation of 2%, said Mr Somkid. He said the 2018 deficit is smaller than that for 2017, which takes a 162-billion-baht borrowing plan under the supplementary budget into consideration. 

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