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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Q1 Budget Deficit Reaches $1.5Bln

Russia had a budget deficit for the first time since 1999 as the government spent 50.5 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) more than it collected in the first quarter, the Finance Ministry said on its web site Thursday.

Revenue in the first three months of the year was 1.73 trillion rubles, or 15.3 percent of the amount the government planned for 2009, while spending was 1.78 trillion rubles, or 19.1 percent of planned expenditure, the ministry said, citing preliminary figures.

The forecast drop in revenue could change because of "uncertainty" on world markets and in Russia, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, Interfax reported.

So far the deficit is "small," Kudrin was cited as saying.

The shortfall will widen in the second, third and possibly fourth quarters when the main spending increases occur, he said.