Under the 2021 budget, total revenue collection was higher by 15.3% compared to 2020, with capital expenditure execution being higher by 45.2% compared to 2020. Over-performance was also observed with revenues on the basis of taxes and contributions by 2%, while the deficit amounted to Mden 38.8 billion or 5.4% of GDP, lower than the one projected in 2021, accounting for 6.5% of GDP.
“This year ended with positive developments in the economy, despite the still present impact from the COVID-19 induced crisis, whereby the price pressure on the global stock markets was also felt in our economy, coupled by the energy crisis,” said Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi. According to him, measures and overall policies implemented have provided for ending 2021 with 4.1% economic growth, in line with the projected GDP growth, with a possibility to exceed it.
“In the first nine months of 2021, economic growth accounted for 4.6%. In November, industrial production picked up by 4.7%, in the period January – October, export grew by 22.8%, final consumption increased by 4.5%, gross investment grew by 3.4% in real terms in the first nine months, unemployment reduced to a historic low level of 15.7%, while average net wage paid in October increased by 4.5% compared to October last year. These trends were reflected in the successful projected budget revenue collection, by which in 2021, there was tax revenue and contribution over-performance, accounting for 102% of the projections as of Dec. 31 inclusive, under the Supplementary Budget adopted in June 2021, with tax revenues being revised upwards by 5% and contributions by 1.3% in relation to the initial Budget,” Besimi pointed out.
The Minister adds that in 2021, revenues on the basis of taxes and contributions were collected in the amount of Mden 196,309 million, increasing by 13.2% compared to 2020.
“As regards VAT revenues, the over-performance accounted for 7.3%, i.e. the collection accounted for 107.3%, i.e. Mden 58,194 million was collected in the Budget on this basis. Personal income tax revenues were collected in the amount of Mden 20,552 million, accounting for 98.86% of the projections. Compared to 2020, VAT revenues were higher by 24.1%, while personal income tax revenues grew by 10.3%,” said Besimi.
Total expenditures were executed in the amount of Mden 257,353 or 95.87% of the projections, increasing by 5.7% compared to 2020. In 2021, capital investments scaled up by 45.2% compared to the same period last year. Thus, in 2021, capital expenditure execution amounted to Mden 23.4 billion, accounting for 79% of the projected funds. What is significant, Besimi notes, is that the absolute amount of investments realized in 2021 were the highest. “This instills additional optimism as regards the realization of major capital projects planned under the 2022-2026 Growth Acceleration Plan, as well as the capital expenditure projected at all-time record high level in 2022, accounting for 14% of the total expenditures,” the Minister stressed.
Capital expenditures in 2022 are projected at Mden 38.2 billion, 28.3% higher compared to 2021. “Major public investments have been envisaged in the field of road and railway infrastructure, digitalization, energy as well as green development. Among the most significant projects are construction of highway along Corridor 8, construction and rehabilitation of railway infrastructure along Corridor 8 and 10, gas pipeline infrastructure on national sections Skopje – Tetovo, Gostivar – Kichevo, Sveti Nikole – Veles, as well as gas interconnector with Greece, etc. In 2022, we also remain committed to protecting the health of citizens, economic recovery and growth acceleration, as well as scaled up investments while implementing fiscal consolidation, uninterrupted financing of the basic functions of the state, as well as support of the reform processes in the judiciary and Euro-Atlantic integrations,” Besimi said.
All policies in 2022, he stressed, will be focused on attaining GDP growth rate, which will exceed pre-COVID-19 level. “GDP growth is projected at 4.6%, driven by scaled-up gross investments by 8.5%, stronger export activity by 8.1%, increased consumption and employment by 3.1% each, which will contribute to full economic growth and accelerated growth of over 5% annually,” Finance Minister Besimi said.