RP expects P257-B 2009 budget deficit at worst

The Philippines’ budget deficit could widen to as much as P257 billion ($5.3 billion) this year if tax collections fall short of target and the state fails to sell assets, the economic planning chief said on Tuesday.

The government last month raised its 2009 fiscal gap target to P177.2 billion, or 2.2 percent of gross domestic product, from P102 billion previously to allow for higher state spending to boost the local economy amid the global downturn.

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