During the first half of the year, the national government recorded a primary deficit of AR$911.12 billion due to the increase in expenditures and the decrease in revenues, both conditioned by the health crisis. his deficit was financed with profits from the Central Bank of Argentina.
In the first half of the year, primary expenditures increased 22.3% YoY in real terms. This variation is almost entirely explained by the fiscal measures adopted by the national government within the framework of the COVID-19 emergency and the social isolation measures. Meanwhile, given the year-on-year drop in debt interest (-38.7% YoY), the increase in total expenditures had a more moderate expansion of 0.9% YoY.
The programs implemented to face the health challenge implied an expenditure of around AR$449.73 billion, without which primary expenditure would have grown by 3.2% in real terms compared to the first half of the previous year.
Through twelve amendments, the initial Budget for the fiscal year increased by AR$845.41 billion, 67.6% of which was allocated to reinforce social benefits.
In June, pensions and retirement benefits fell in real terms for the first time in the semester (1.4%), but supplementary bonuses caused lower pensions to increase 11.7% above inflation.
The 71.8% drop in expenditure on housing and urban development was partly offset by the increase in expenditures on Potable Water and Sewerage, which rose 142.0% YoY, and on Financial Assistance for the Construction of Emergency Modular Hospitals, within the framework of COVID-19 ($4.38 billion).