Financial report: Gov’t surplus double projected figure

The Legislative Assembly building in George Town.

A third-quarter unaudited financial report shows the Cayman Islands government had greater revenue and spent less than its projected budget. And while a reported $180 million surplus was double the projected $90 million, it was slightly lower than last year’s $184 million surplus for the same period.

Overall, the government’s net assets were up over the same period last year by 25%, or $317 million, to $1.6 billion.

According to the report, the largely positive numbers are “due to higher coercive revenues [fees and duties] and higher investment revenues, complemented by lower levels of expenditures in personnel costs, supplies and consumables and other operating expenses within core government”.

Coercive revenues of $634 million were up nearly 10% over the projected amount but the biggest revenue surprise came in investment, no doubt a reflection of the robust year the US stock market is enjoying. The $14.8 million in revenue for the first nine months of the year was 281% greater than the projected $3.9 million and 71% higher than the same period last year.

Personnel costs, which came in at $238 million, were up 12% year-to-date, but were 3% lower than the projected amount. Companies expenses were also up 12% year-to-date at $94 million. Supply costs were 16% lower than expected.

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The government ended the period with $654 million in the bank, a drop from the total of  $690 million at the end of the second quarter, but up significantly from the third quarter of last year, when the amount was $535 million.

 “The overall fiscal performance reported for the period shows an [entire public sector] net surplus of $179.9 million, which is $90.3 million higher than budgeted,” the report says.

“This favourable position was mainly due to revenues favourably outperforming initial projections by 11% ($70.6 million).

“Compared to the results through the third quarter of 2018, core government revenues for 2019 are 7% ($43.8 million) higher; expenses were also higher [by] 11% ($51.3 million) …

Overall, EPS net surplus was 2% ($3.9 million) lower.”

The full report can be found here.

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