India’s fiscal deficit for the financial year 2017-’18 reached 96.1% of the budget estimate at the end of October, lifted by an increase in expenditure. The fiscal deficit is a measure of how much the government’s expenditure exceeds its revenue, and the government wants to keep it at 3.2% of the Gross Domestic Product this financial year.

The fiscal deficit was Rs 5.25 lakh crore in April-October, compared to the target of Rs 5.47 lakh crore for the 2017-’18 financial year, data released by the Controller General of Accounts showed. The cumulative deficit had reached 96.2% of the target in August, but had recovered to 91.3% by September-end.

During April-October 2016, the fiscal deficit was 79.3% of the budget estimate for that financial year.

Total expenditure as at the end of October was Rs 12.9 lakh crore, higher than Rs 11.5 lakh crore till September-end. The increase in revenue was marginally lower, from Rs 6.5 lakh crore as at the end of September to Rs 7.7 lakh crore a month later.