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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budget Deficit Gets Larger in August

Despite emergency steps to boost revenues and control spending, Russia's federal budget deficit widened further in August, according to Finance Ministry figures obtained Thursday.

In August, spending totaled 30.8 trillion rubles ($5.7 billion), against revenues of 19.9 trillion rubles for a deficit of 10.9 trillion rubles, or 5.5 percent of gross domestic product.

The figures are calculated according to Russian standards, which exclude interest payments from spending.

According to International Monetary Fund calculations, which include debt service, the deficit in August was 10.2 percent of GDP.

Month-to-month budget performance varies widely as a result of seasonal factors, however, and August is typically a weak month for revenues.

Over the first eight months of the year, the deficit totaled 4.5 percent of GDP, according to Russian calculations, and 7.5 percent by IMF standards.

That was well above the Russian figure of 4 percent and the IMF figure of 6.3 percent, figures recorded in the first half of 1996.

Russia has set a deficit target of 5.25 percent, calculated according to the IMF standards, for 1996 under a $10 billion loan deal with the fund. The IMF raised that target in August from the original 4 percent goal.