Sunday, August 7

Ecuador government sees 2022 fiscal deficit of 3.45% of GDP, larger budget

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QUITO — Ecuador’s government predicts a fiscal deficit of $3.78 billion for 2022, slightly above the one in use for this year, it said in its budget proposal sent to lawmakers on Saturday.

The government of President Guillermo Lasso, a conservative ex-banker who took office in May, has been operating with the budget approved only through August, because the legislature sent back his first budget proposal.

Lasso has proposed a $33.89 billion budget for next year, based on an average oil price of $59.20 a barrel and economic growth of 2.85%, the ministry of economy and finance said in a statement.

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That would be an increase of $2.44 billion over the current budget.

“The global deficit is $3.78 billion, equivalent to 3.45% of GDP. This figure represents $29.7 million more than the deficit in the codified budget through August 2021,” the statement said.

The government predicts oil production will reach 179.88 million barrels next year.

The National Assembly has 30 days to approve the proposal.

Financing needs for next year will be some $9.77 billion, more than $800 million above the budget through August.

The proposal would guarantee $1.47 billion in social programs for vulnerable families, the government said.

It does not include the $1.9 billion that the government hopes to raise from a tax reform it proposed to the assembly this week.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by William Mallard)