Over the past 12 months, Israel has had a budget surplus of 6.4 billion shekels ($1.84 billion), marking the first time since 2007 that the country is not in deficit. This is according to data published last Sunday by the Ministry of Finance. The budget surplus, which stands at 0.4%, is the largest since 1987.
June alone was in fact the first and only deficit month of the year, with a deficit of 1.5 billion shekels ($430 million). According to the Ministry of Finance, June is typically characterized by a high seasonal deficit, and last year the deficit was 8.9 billion shekels ($2.56 billion). The comparatively small deficit in June this year is what moved Israel’s budget into the black.
Since the beginning of the year, state revenues have amounted to 241 billion shekels ($69.21 billion), an increase of 24.5% compared to the same period last year, when revenues at this point stood at 193.8 billion shekels ($55.65 billion).
Government expenditures, on the other hand, amounted to only 209.3 billion shekels ($60.1 billion) since the beginning of the year. This figure represents a decrease of 11.8% since January, and an increase of 2.8% if the special budgets for COVID are discounted.
Of the COVID budget, 91.9% has been implemented so far. State revenues, after a particularly heavy half a year, stand at 60% of the target. According to an estimate published by the Chief Economist of the Ministry of Finance last week, revenues will be 45 billion shekels ($12.92 billion) above the original forecast.
State expenditure, on the other hand, stands at 45.5% of the target. If the current spending rate continues, the year will end with a budget below full expenditure.
This article was translated from Hebrew by Jonathan Epstein.