Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said that the consolidated Budget surplus for the first 11 months of 2016 was 3.47 billion leva, or 3.8 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, in line with the ministry’s forecast issued last month.
The figure represented an improvement of 4.3 percentage points of GDP compared to the same period of 2015, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget deficit of 406.4 million leva, the ministry said in a statement. It forecast a Budget surplus of 1.51 billion leva at the end of the year, or 1.6 per cent of projected GDP.
The state Budget had a surplus of 1.77 million leva and the EU funds surplus was 1.7 billion leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first 11 months of 2016 was 762.5 million leva.
Higher revenue was the main reason for the continued improvement of public finances, coupled with the reduction of government spending compared to the same period of last year, according to the ministry statement.
Earlier this year, the ministry said that the lower government spending was due to the slow start in using EU funds in the current budget period, but also because some investment spending was shifted to the last quarter of the year due to “technological and procedural factors.”
The spending cuts, which mainly affected capital expenditures, mean that Bulgaria will end the year with a Budget surplus for the first time in nearly a decade. Initially, this year’s Budget Act envisioned a 1.8 per cent deficit, which was later amended to zero deficit. The surplus will be transferred to the fiscal reserve fund, the ministry said.
Revenue in January-November was 31.09 billion leva, an improvement of 6.9 per cent compared to the same period of last year. Tax revenues were up by 8.6 per cent compared to the first 11 months of last year, at 24.44 billion leva.
Budget spending was 27.62 billion leva, down from 29.49 billion leva in the same period of 2015.
(Photo: Michael Faes/sxc.hu)