Summary Fiscal performance showed modest improvement during the period under review. Deficits contracted and so did national debts. This was possible however only because of reduced spending since revenues - capital, recurrent, and grants in aid - fell. Governments found it easier to reduce spending on the purchase of goods and services and on gross investment rather than on wages and salaries or on transfers. In the countries which had experienced severe disequilibrium in the past and therefore had accumulated a large debt, the legacy of interest payments and amortization charges remained to drain national resources away from development. Those countries spent less on health and education on average and the proportion that they spent on these sectors declined over the survey period.