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21 September 2017

Septem­ber 2017 month­ly re­port

Translated abstract of the Federal Ministry of Finance’s September 2017 monthly report

Federal budget trends up to and including August 2017

Trends in the federal budget

 

Actual 2016

Estimated 2017

Actual1 as of
August 2017

Expenditure (€bn)2

310.6329.1219.3

Year-on-year change in % (year to date)

+5.7
Revenue (€bn)2316.8322.1206.7

Year-on-year change in % (year to date)

+1.7
Tax revenue (€bn)289.0301.0192.4

Year-on-year change in % (year to date)

+4.9

Fiscal balance (€bn)

6.2-7.0-12.6

Financing/use of surplus:

-6.27.012.6

Cash resources (€bn)

--41.6

Seigniorage (€bn)

0.30.30.1

Reserve funds balance (€bn)

-6.56.70.0
Net borrowing/current financial market balance3 (€bn)0.00.0-29.1
1 As per accounts.
2 Excluding revenue and expenditure from internal offsetting.
3 (-) debt repayment; (+) borrowing
Source: Federal Ministry of Finance

Revenue trends

Federal revenue for the period from January up to and including August 2017 totalled €206.7bn. This is equivalent to 64% of the target revenue for the entire year, and represents a year-on-year gain of 1.7% (or €3.5bn). Two factors tempered (a) year-on-year revenue growth and (b) the share of target revenue achieved at this point in the year. First, the Federation was required to pay back €6.3bn in nuclear fuel duty revenue, plus €1bn in interest, to affected energy companies as a result of the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of nuclear fuel duty, which was handed down on 13 April 2017 and published on 7 June 2017. Second, the amount of Bundesbank profits paid over to the Federation turned out to be €2.1bn less than projected. Overall, tax revenue for the eight-month period from January to August 2017 posted a strong gain of 4.9% (€9.0bn) on the year. Other revenue, which includes profit transfers from the Bundesbank, declined sharply by 27.6% (€5.5bn).

Trends in federal revenue

Actual

2016

Estimated

2017

Actual

Year‑on‑year
change in %
(year to date)

January to August 2016

January to August 2017

€m

Share
in %

€m

Share

in %

€m

I. Tax revenue

288,99191.2301,02993.5183,437192,392+4.9

Federal share of joint taxes:

235,74774.4246,46976.5150,975159,749+5.8

Revenue from personal and corporate income taxes (incl. final withholding tax on interest and capital gains)

127,46340.2130,18740.477,10583,805+8.7

of which:

  

Wages tax

78,51924.882,93925.848,60351,965+6.9

Assessed income tax

22,8797.223,0267.111,36013,198+16.2

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

9,7313.19,6103.07,3728,120+10.1

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

2,6130.82,3060.71,8092,227+23.1

Corporation tax

13,7214.313,2494.17,9618,295+4.2

Value added taxes (VAT)

106,52933.6114,43635.572,93274,872+2.7

Trade tax apportionment

1,7550.61,8460.69391,072+14.2

Energy duty

40,09112.739,79612.421,23021,973+3.5

Tobacco duty

14,1864.514,7004.68,7018,801+1.1

Solidarity surcharge

16,8555.317,4505.410,43811,237+7.7

Insurance tax

12,7634.013,0504.110,13310,496+3.6

Electricity duty

6,5692.16,5302.04,2934,591+6.9

Motor vehicle tax

8,9522.88,9002.86,3336,348+0.2

Nuclear fuel tax

4220.100.0294-7,261X

Spirits duties

2,0720.72,0510.61,3751,396+1.5

Coffee duty

1,0400.31,0500.3675672 -0.4

Aviation tax

1,0740.31,1010.3634675+6.5

Supplementary grants to Länder

-9,845-3.1-9,228-2.9-4,803-4,761 -0.9

EU GNI own resources

-19,911-6.3-21,680-6.7-12,587-7,899 -37.2

EU VAT own resources

-4,250-1.3-2,440-0.8-2,833-1,575 -44.4

Grants to Länder for public transport

-8,200-2.6-8,144-2.5-4,939-5,565+12.7

Grants to Länder for motor vehicle tax and HGV toll

-8,992-2.8-8,992-2.8-6,744-6,744+0.0

II. Other revenue

27,8398.821,0216.519,82914,352 -27.6

Revenue from economic activity

6,8472.25,4681.75,6312,838 -49.6

Interest revenue

3020.13000.1164212+29.3

Loan repayments, holdings, privatisation revenue

2,8900.91,8000.62,330914 -60.8

Total revenue1

316,829100.0322,051100.0203,266206,744+1.7
1 Excluding revenue from internal offsetting.
Source: Federal Ministry of Finance

Expenditure trends

Federal expenditure for the first eight months of 2017 totalled €219.3bn. This represents an increase of 5.7% (€11.9bn) on the year and accounts for 67% of the targeted spending for all of 2017.

Federal spending is separated into consumption and investment expenditure. In the eight-month period from January to August 2017, consumption spending was up by 5.0% on the year. Within this category, both human resources spending and operating expenditure posted moderately above-average increases of 5.4% and 6.4%, respectively. Ongoing grants to public administrations were up sharply on the year by 10.0% (€1.4bn) due mainly to an increase in grants to the Länder, which exceeded last year’s figure by 13.4% (€1.3bn). Grants for other areas were up by 4.6% on the year, primarily as a result of higher spending on pensions, social security and benefits (e.g. parental benefit and basic income support for jobseekers, which rose by 6.9% and 6.4%, respectively). Interest payments climbed by 1.0% on the year. Investment spending recorded a year-on-year gain of 14.7% in the first eight months of 2017. Within this category, fixed asset investment surged by 17.1%. Construction investment, which accounts for the largest share of fixed asset investment, posted a similar strong gain of 16.8%. Spending on federal financial assistance was also up markedly on the year (by 13.8%), mainly as a result of allocations made by the Federation to increase the equity of Deutsche Bahn AG.

Trends in federal expenditure by function

Actual

2016

Estimated

2017

Actual

Year‑on‑year

change in %
(year to date)

January to August 2016

January to

August 2017

m

Share

in %

€m

Share

in %

€m

General public services

72,181 23.277,807 23.646,22748,006+3.8

Economic cooperation and development

7,732 2.58,501 2.64,6764,207 -10.0

Defence

34,613 11.136,620 11.122,10522,810+3.2

Government, central administration

14,580 4.716,326 5.09,87210,824+9.6

Revenue administration

4,507 1.54,560 1.42,8342,983+5.3

Education, science, research, cultural affairs

21,472 6.923,935 7.312,37412,561+1.5

Support for school and university students and training programme participants

3,516 1.13,977 1.22,1712,282+5.1

Science, research and development outside of higher education institutions

11,406 3.712,729 3.95,8895,902+0.2

Social security, family and youth affairs, labour market policy

160,593 51.7170,486 51.8111,457118,378+6.2

Social insurance including unemployment insurance

106,939 34.4111,943 34.077,45680,987+4.6

Labour market policy

34,566 11.137,057 11.322,21524,964+12.4

of which: Unemployment benefit II under Book II of the Social Code

20,349 6.621,000 6.413,80814,687+6.4

Unemployment Benefit II, government housing and heating allowances under Book II of the Social Code

5,384 1.76,500 2.03,3084,500+36.0

Family assistance, welfare services, etc.

8,065 2.68,275 2.55,5065,578+1.3

Social benefits for the consequences of war and political events

2,026 0.72,111 0.61,3921,367 -1.8

Health, environment, sport, recreation

2,074 0.72,324 0.71,1761,251+6.3

Housing, regional planning and local community services

2,427 0.83,324 1.01,5791,870+18.4

Housing, home ownership savings premium

1,866 0.62,378 0.71,4111,688+19.6

Food, agriculture and forestry

900 0.31,250 0.4354401+13.2

Energy and water supply, trade and services

4,252 1.46,039 1.83,0052,964 -1.4

Regional support measures

719 0.21,585 0.5404398 -1.4

Mining, manufacturing and construction

1,705 0.51,546 0.51,5271,337 -12.4

Transport and communication

18,313 5.920,818 6.310,23712,581+22.9

Roads

8,660 2.89,154 2.84,5605,129+12.5

Railways and public transport

5,623 1.86,420 2.03,1194,389+40.7

Financial management

35,232 11.323,117 7.021,93021,507 -1.9

Interest expenditure

17,501 5.618,471 5.616,11016,272+1.0

Total expenditure1

310,581100.0329,100 100.0207,451219,305+5.7
1 Excluding expenditure from internal offsetting.
Source: Federal Ministry of Finance
Trends in federal expenditure by economic category

Actual

2016

Estimated

2017

Actual

Year‑on‑year

change in %
(year to date)

January to

August 2016

January to

August 2017

€m

Share
in %

€m

Share
in %

€m

Consumption expenditure

277,39889.3295,96989.9191,214200,689+5.0

Personnel expenditure

30,6659.931,9889.720,68021,801+5.4

Salary payments

22,2697.223,4337.114,82915,675+5.7

Pensions

8,3962.78,5552.65,8516,126+4.7

Current material expenditure

26,1328.428,9578.815,20416,173+6.4

Non-personnel expenditure

1,5060.51,5420.5899933+3.8

Military procurement

9,9633.211,2583.45,5165,331 -3.4

Other

14,6624.716,1574.98,7899,909+12.7

Interest expenditure

17,4985.618,4625.616,10816,270+1.0

Current grants and subsidies

202,33965.1215,72865.6138,680145,873+5.2

to public administration

23,6487.626,8248.214,31215,747+10.0

to other sectors

178,69157.5188,90457.4124,368130,126+4.6

including:

  

Private enterprises

26,8788.730,0449.117,40918,057+3.7

Pensions, assistance etc.

28,9579.329,8939.119,71920,672+4.8

Social insurance funds

112,57736.2116,87835.580,73784,431+4.6

Other asset transfers

7640.28340.3543572+5.3

Investment expenditure

33,18310.736,07111.016,23718,617+14.7

Financial assistance

24,3587.826,0357.911,93013,574+13.8

Grants and subsidies

22,7877.322,6396.910,96211,541+5.3

Loans, guarantees

1,0690.31,9270.6649765+17.9

Acquisition of holdings; capital contributions

5010.21,4690.43201,267+295.9

Fixed asset investment

8,8252.810,0373.04,3075,043+17.1

Construction measures

6,8462.27,5332.33,3363,897+16.8

Acquisition of movable assets

1,4800.51,8460.6701853+21.7

Acquisition of real property

4990.26580.2270293+8.5

General reduction/increase in expenditure

00.0-2,940-0.900X

Total expenditure1

310,581100.0329,100100.0207,451219,305+5.7
1 Excluding expenditure from internal offsetting.
Source: Federal Ministry of Finance

Fiscal balance

Expenditure exceeded revenue by €12.6bn in the first eight months of 2017.

Revenue and expenditure are subject to strong fluctuations over the course of the fiscal year and thus have an uneven effect on cash funds in individual months. Net borrowing also tends to fluctuate considerably over the course of the year. This means that the fiscal balance at this point in the year and the corresponding net borrowing figures are not reliable indicators of the end-of-year figures for the fiscal balance and net borrowing.

Trends in general government tax revenue

Current-year trends in tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes)1

2017

August

Year‑on‑year
change

January to

August

Year‑on‑year
change

2017 estimates4

Year‑on‑year
change

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

in €m

in %

Joint taxes

      

Wages tax2

15,769+10.4126,237+6.7194,250+5.1

Assessed income tax

-591X31,057+16.257,500+6.8

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

2,810+157.316,246+10.219,450+0.0

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

413+16.95,062+23.16,548+10.2

Corporation tax

20X16,590+4.227,080 -1.3

Value added taxes (VAT)

19,037+0.5149,709+4.5227,550+4.8

Trade tax apportionment

270+33.32,589+14.24,658+9.9

Increased trade tax apportionment

62+0.22,116+10.93,879+7.9

Total joint taxes

37,791+10.4349,605+6.8540,915+4.7

Federal taxes

Energy duty

3,456+2.121,973+3.540,200+0.3

Tobacco duty

1,324+17.78,801+1.214,190+0.0

Spirits duty incl. alcopops duty

167+1.21,395+1.52,070 -0.0

Insurance tax

1,300+2.810,496+3.613,200+3.4

Electricity duty

530 -3.04,591+6.96,600+0.5

Motor vehicle tax

720+1.46,348+0.29,000+0.5

Aviation tax

104 -7.5675+6.51,125+4.8

Nuclear fuel duty

-976X-7,261X0X

Solidarity surcharge

971+6.911,237+7.717,600+4.4

Other federal taxes

106 -11.1933 -0.61,458 -0.0

Total federal taxes

7,700 -7.959,186 -8.0105,443+1.0

Länder taxes

Inheritance tax

531+10.24,151 -15.66,010 -14.2

Real property transfer tax

1,199+11.38,776+6.712,730+2.6

Betting and lottery tax

144 -5.21,244+4.51,870+3.4

Beer duty

60+2.6446 -0.4671 -1.0

Other Länder taxes

25+8.8341+5.3453+2.6

Total Länder taxes

1,960+9.314,958 -1.021,734 -2.7

EU--European Union own resources

Customs duty

433 -2.53,362 -0.35,200+1.7

VAT-based own resources

197 -44.41,575 -44.42,450 -42.4

GNI-based own resources

778 -53.17,902 -37.218,200 -8.6

Total EU own resources

1,408 -42.712,839 -31.725,850 -11.7

Federation3

22,303+9.4193,325+5.0308,028+6.6

Länder3

21,334+9.7192,713+6.0294,824+2.1

EU

1,408 -42.712,839 -31.725,850 -11.7

Local authorities’ share of income tax and value added tax

2,839+12.628,233+10.944,590+7.8

Total tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes)

47,884+6.8427,111+4.1673,292+3.9
1 Methodology: Total cash income from the various taxes is recorded and allocated to the various government levels as stipulated by law. Actual tax amounts collected in the current month by individual government levels may differ from target amounts due to technical reasons.
2 After deduction of child benefit refunds by the Federal Central Tax Office.
3 After supplementary grants; any discrepancies with table on federal revenue are due to methodology used.
4 Working Party on Tax Revenue Estimates, May 2017
Source: Federal Ministry of Finance

Tax revenue in August 2017

Total tax revenue (excluding local authority taxes) rose by 6.8% on the year in August 2017. This increase was driven mainly by revenue from joint taxes – and within this category, especially from wages tax and non-assessed taxes on earnings – which continued its strong upward trend with a gain of 10.4%. Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Federation declined by 7.9%, due to further repayments of nuclear fuel duty following the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 April 2017. Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Länder were up by 9.3% on the year in August, thanks primarily to higher yields from inheritance tax and real property transfer tax.

EU own resources

Transfers of own resources to the EU, including customs duties, were down by 42.7% on the year in August. Taken cumulatively, own resources payments were down sharply by 31.7% on the year in the first eight months of 2017. Transfers have declined significantly this year as a result of (a) balances resulting from EU adjustments and amending budgets and (b) the implementation of the EU’s new Own Resources Decision. Overall, it is anticipated that Germany’s transfers of own resources to the EU will be lower this year than in 2016. The amount of the monthly transfers is determined by the EU’s financing needs at any given time.

Cumulative overview of the January–August 2017 period

Total tax receipts were up by 4.1% on the year in the first eight months of 2017. This positive trend was driven mainly by a cumulative rise of 6.8% in revenue from joint taxes. In contrast, yields from taxes accruing solely to the Federation and from taxes accruing solely to the Länder posted drops of 8.0% and 1.0% respectively.

Distribution among the Federation, Länder and local authorities

The Federation’s tax receipts (after accounting for supplementary federal grants to the Länder) rose by 9.4% on the year in August 2017. This positive outcome was led by a strong 9.2% increase in the Federation’s share of revenue from joint taxes and a 51.6% decline in transfers of EU own resources from the federal budget. Another factor boosting the Federation’s tax receipts in August was a decline in supplementary federal grants to the Länder. In contrast, revenue from taxes that accrue solely to the Federation was down by 7.9% on the year in August. Länder tax receipts posted a year-on-year gain of 9.7% in August, after accounting for supplementary federal grants. This increase was driven by higher receipts from joint taxes (up 11.4%), taxes accruing solely to the Länder (up 9.3%) and federal subsidies for public transport (up 12.7%). The local authorities’ share of revenue from joint taxes was up by 12.6% on the year overall.

Joint taxes

Wages tax

The upward trend in wages tax revenue seen in recent months continued in August 2017, buoyed by sustained positive employment trends and rising wages. Gross wages tax revenue climbed by 8.0% on the year in August. Child benefit payments, which are financed from wages tax receipts, were up by 0.7% compared with the same month last year. At the same time, taxpayer repayments of old-age pension allowances exceeded allowance payments, due among other things to the discontinuation of eligibility criteria. On balance, €50m in old-age pension allowances was repaid. As a result, cash receipts from wages tax were up by 10.4% on the year in August. In cumulative terms, cash receipts from wages tax increased by 6.7% on the year in the eight-month period from January to August 2017.

Corporation tax

The positive trend in corporation tax receipts continued in August. August tends to be a low-yield month for corporation tax, so revenue was mainly generated from assessment activities. For example, there was a year-on-year increase in retroactive prepayments that were determined during the assessment process. The balance of back-payments and refunds remained virtually unchanged. Gross receipts from corporation tax were up by approximately €0.15bn. The deduction of investment allowance payments had only a negligible impact on cash receipts. Taken cumulatively, cash receipts from corporation tax increased by €0.15bn on the year in the eight months from January to August 2017. However, a high volume of corporation tax refunds is still expected over the course of 2017 as a result of high court rulings (Federal Fiscal Court rulings on the STEKO case and section 40a of the Capital Investment Companies Act).

Assessed income tax

As with corporation tax, revenue trends from assessed income tax were driven by assessment activities. Here, retroactive prepayments were up only marginally on the year, while the balance between back-payments and refunds (excluding employee refunds) narrowed. As a result, gross receipts from assessed income tax fell by 29.6% on the year in August to roughly €0.6bn. Refunds made to employees assessed for income tax declined by 16.5%. Payments of investment allowance and owner-occupied homes premium now have only a slight impact on revenue from assessed income tax; thus on balance, cash receipts from assessed income tax remained constant on the year. On a cumulative basis, cash receipts from assessed income tax rose by 16.2% on the year in the January–August period.

Non-assessed taxes on earnings

Taxes on dividend distributions by corporations are the main source of revenue in the category of non-assessed taxes on earnings. As in July, gross revenue from non-assessed taxes on earnings posted a major year-on-year gain in August – from €1.1bn in 2016 to €3.0bn this year – presumably due to a shift in the timing of dividend payments over the course of the year. Refunds paid out by the Federal Central Tax Office, which are subtracted from revenue totals, also increased. Overall, cash receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings surged in August by 157.3% on the year, to €2.8bn. Cumulative cash receipts from non-assessed taxes on earnings in the first eight months of 2017 were up by 10.2% on the year.

Final withholding tax on interest and capital gains

Revenue from final withholding tax on interest and capital gains posted a year-on-year gain of 16.9% in August, continuing the positive trend seen in the past few months. Given the ongoing low interest-rate environment, this cannot be attributed to taxes on interest. It is more likely to be linked to trends in capital gains. It remains fair to assume that stock market trends are leading many investors to realise profits by selling their shares, resulting in an increased yield from capital gains tax. However, no separate statistics are kept on the two revenue components, so it is not possible to provide reliable information on this question. In cumulative terms, revenue from final withholding tax on interest and capital gains was up by 23.1% on the year in the first eight months of 2017.

Value added taxes

The yield from value added taxes recorded only a slight year-on-year gain of 0.5% in August. Receipts from domestic VAT fell by 1.6%, while import VAT revenue rose by 7.7%. For the eight months from January to August 2017, value added tax revenue was up by 4.5% on the year.

Taxes accruing to the Federation

Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Federation were down by 7.9% on the year in August 2017. The reason for this decline is the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 April 2017 (2 Bvl 6/13), which ruled that the Nuclear Fuel Duty Act is unconstitutional and therefore null and void. Taxes collected on the basis of this law – a total of approximately €6.3bn – were paid back in June 2017. An additional €1.0bn was paid back in August. The bulk of this latter amount consisted of interest payable on tax refunds in accordance with section 233a of the Fiscal Code.

High-revenue federal taxes posting gains in August included energy duty (+2.1%), tobacco duty (+17.7%), solidarity surcharge (+6.9%), insurance tax (+2.8%) and motor vehicle tax (+1.4%), while receipts from electricity duty dipped by 3.0%. Taken cumulatively, receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Federation were down by 8.0% on the year in the first eight months of 2017.

Taxes accruing to the Länder

Receipts from taxes accruing solely to the Länder were up by 9.3% on the year in August 2017. Sharp gains were posted by both real property transfer tax (up 11.3%) and inheritance tax (up 10.2%). In cumulative terms, the yield from Länder taxes in the first eight months of 2017 was down slightly on the year by 1.0%, due to a decline in inheritance tax revenue.

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