Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said that the consolidated Budget surplus in the first 10 months of 2015 came in at 63.9 million leva, or 0.1 per cent of the forecast gross domestic product (GDP), an improvement of 2.2 per cent of GDP compared to the same period of last year, when the consolidated Budget showed a deficit of 1.76 billion leva.
However, October marked the first of three months of intense spending by the Cabinet, which will push the full-year deficit to about three per cent of GDP. After recording a deficit of about 563 million leva in October, the Finance Ministry forecast a further 521 million leva deficit in the month of November, which will push the figure for year so far to a deficit of 457 million leva.
The Finance Ministry said that the large end-of-year deficits were due to payments on EU-funded projects. Bulgaria is trying to use as much as possible of its EU funds allocation for the six-year financing period that ended in 2014, which must be spent and paid for by the end of 2015. To this end, the government is using its own money to speed up payments, which will be reimbursed by the EU in the first half of 2016.
In the first 10 months of the year, the state Budget had a surplus of 383.4 million leva and the EU funds deficit was 319.5 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first seven months of 2015 was 684.7 million leva.
Consolidated Budget revenue in January-October was 26.53 billion leva, an improvement of 10.5 per cent compared to the same period of last year. Tax revenues were 20.6 billion leva, up by 7.5 per cent.
Budget spending, which does not include Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget, was 25.79 billion leva in the first 10 months of the year, up by 2.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2014.
(Photo: Sanja Gjenero)