Bulgaria’s Cabinet said on February 10 that it approved the consolidated Budget figures presented by the Finance Ministry, based on monthly budget reports, which showed a cash deficit of 2.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015.
But the state Budget deficit – which excludes certain types of spending like social security payments, the municipalities’ budgets, as well as EU funds – was expected to be under 2.5 per cent of GDP when calculated using EU guidelines, the government’s media service said in a statement.
That figure was below the 2.8 per cent targeted by the Cabinet in its three-year budget strategy and served as a confirmation of the government’s efforts to pursue consolidation policies and deficit reduction in the medium term, the statement said.
Higher revenue collection was key in keeping the deficit below the target, as it helped offset increased government spending to co-finance projects that received EU funding.
Overall, consolidated budget revenue was 32.2 billion leva (about 16.5 billion euro), which was 2.8 billion leva higher than in 2014, an increase of 9.5 per cent. The final figures also showed that the revenue overshot the target set in the Budget revision, passed in November alongside the 2016 Budget, by 1.8 per cent.
Tax revenue, in particular, increased by 7.9 per cent in 2015 to 24.9 billion leva – 3.5 per cent higher than the initial targets set in the Budget and 0.5 per cent higher than the revised target set in November.
On the spending side, Bulgaria’s consolidated Budget showed 34.7 billion leva (about 17.7 billion euro), an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to 2014, but the bulk of extra spending – 1.9 billion leva out of 2.2 billion leva – went into capital expenditure programmes, the statement said.
In absolute terms, the consolidated Budget deficit was 2.47 billion leva in 2015, down from 3.07 billion leva a year earlier.
(Photo: Michael Faes/sxc.hu)