By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 January 2020:
Libya’s 2019 state revenues were up on budget estimates for the period 1/1/2019 to 31/12/2019, the Tripoli Central Bank of Libya revealed yesterday in its latest statistical bulletin. The state also enjoyed a surplus as spending was also down on estimates.
The CBL also reported that inflation was in the negative at minus 2.2 and estimated Real GDP for 2019 will be LD 49.7 bn, up from LD 47.1 bn in 2018 and LD 34.9 bn in 2017.
Oil revenues for the period were up by LD 4.995 bn, from an estimated LD 26.4 bn to LD 31.395 bn. However, revenues from taxes, customs duties, state telecoms entities, CBL profits and other state duties were all down on budget estimates.
The only other source of state revenues that was up on estimates was the foreign currency sales surcharge that was up by LD 7.647 bn – from an estimated LD 15.8 bn to LD 23.447 bn.
Total revenues, excluding the currency surcharge, were up by LD 2.919 bn from an estimated LD 31.0 bn to LD 33.919 bn.
With regards to spending, the largest budget category is still state-sector salaries at LD 24.512 bn or 53 percent of total outgoings. It was nevertheless down by LD 363 million on the estimated LD 24.875 bn.
The operational outgoings (21 percent of budget) were also down by LD 261 million from an estimated LD 9.69 bn to LD 9.429 bn.
Projects and Development spending
Spending on development projects (10 percent of budget) was down by LD 362 million from an estimated LD 5.0 bn to LD 4.638 bn. LD 2.652 bn went to various Ministry projects (no breakdown was provided); LD 1.0 bn went to the National Oil Corporation (NOC); LD 646 million went to the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL); and LD 340 went to pay for overseas education scholarships.
Subsidies (16 percent of total budget) came in on target at LD 7.235 bn. The largest amount went on local fuel subsidies at LD 4.2 bn; LD 1.545 bn went to buying medical supplies through the Medical Supply Organization (MSO); LD 820 million went on electricity subsidies; LD 410 million went on public cleaning and LD 260 million went on water and sanitation.
The CBL also pointed out that the black market rate for one US dollar was now trading at around LD 4.08 – down considerably from a high of LD 9.2 per dollar in 2017.