Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said on April 1 that the Budget deficit for the first two months of the year was 732 million leva, about 167 million leva higher than in the same period of 2012.
The main reasons for the higher deficit were higher interest payments to service government debt and increased health care benefits, as well as changed tax laws, which mean that some revenues that were previously collected at the start of the year were now due at a later date, the ministry said.
The state Budget had a deficit of 485.5 million leva and the EU funds deficit was 246.5 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first two months of 2013 was 257.6 million leva.
Consolidated Budget revenues in January-February stood at 3.83 billion leva, roughly 12.5 per cent of the amount targeted for the full year, including 3.25 billion leva in taxes (13.9 per cent targeted for the year). Tax revenue was up 3.9 per cent compared to the same period of 2012 and total revenue was four per cent higher.
Value-added tax revenue collection offset some of the shortfalls in other areas and stood at 1.33 billion leva, 23.2 per cent higher than in the same period of last year and accounting for 16.9 per cent of the amount targeted for 2013. VAT accounted for a total 41 per cent of total Budget revenue, compared to 34.6 per cent in the same period of 2012.
Budget spending in the first two months of the year stood at 4.56 billion leva, an increase of 7.4 per cent over last year and roughly 14.4 per cent of the full-year target. Interest payments during that period stood at 313.1 million leva, about 35.8 per cent of the amount projected for 2013.
The fiscal reserve at the end of February was 3.9 billion leva, the Finance Ministry said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)