MANILA, Philippines - The country posted a budget deficit of P31.7 billion in September, bringing the shortfall for the first 9 months to P259.8 billion.
The January to September deficit, which is already 80% of the full-year ceiling, was below the government's target of P273.7 billion.
The government has set its deficit goal for 2010 at P325 billion, a record in nominal terms but steady from 2009 at 3.9% of gross domestic product (GDP).
It wants to lower the deficit to 3.2% of GDP, or P290 billion, next year. It also plans to cut the shortfall further to 2.6% in 2012 and to 2% by 2013, keeping it at that level until 2016 when President Benigno Aquino term ends. - With a report from Reuters