ECONOMY

Deficit increases $1.8 billion in 2014

The increase is about $1 billion more than in 2013.

Temas:

Panama's debt increased $1.8 billion last year, about $1 billion more than the 2013 increase.

The growth was an estimated 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). that is within the parameters of the Social Fiscal Responsibility Law, which caps the deficit at 4.1 percent of GDP. The previous government raised the debt ceiling from 2.7 percent.

The deficit figures were presented yesterday by Minister of Economy and Finance Dulcidio De La Guardia, who said that the figures were "no surprise."

Revenues for the year were about $10.1 billion, a 1.1 percent increase from the previous year, while expenditures rose 8.8 percent to $11.9 billion.

The government is hoping to cut the deficit spending to 2 percent of GDP in the current spending plan. De La Guardia said that this will be obtained by increasing tax revenues and reducing spending.

The government is also hoping that revenues increase in the future when the Panama Canal expansion opens, but that won't be until 2016.

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