Philippines Reports Budget Deficit in November as Spending Rises

The Philippines reported a budget deficit for the third straight month in November as government spending increased.

The deficit was 11.6 billion pesos ($282 million) compared with a shortfall of 9.67 billion pesos reported for October, the government said in an e-mailed statement today. Revenue rose 21 percent and spending increased 11 percent from a year earlier. The 11-month budget gap was 127.3 billion pesos, less than half the 279 billion-peso ceiling targeted by the government.

“The risk of fiscal slippage or of the deficit exceeding the program is nearly eliminated this year,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a statement.

The Philippines is on the verge of its first investment- grade credit rating as President Benigno Aquino bolsters tax collection and oversees a resurgence in growth. Standard & Poor’s last week raised the country’s rating outlook to positive and said it may upgrade the Philippines next year on improved governance and public finances.

To contact the reporter on this story: Norman P. Aquino in Manila at naquino1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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