Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said that the consolidated Budget surplus for the first half of 2017 was 1.75 billion leva, or 1.8 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, narrowly exceeding the ministry’s 1.74 billion leva forecast issued last month.
The surplus through six months of this year was about 1.32 billion leva short of the figure in the same period of 2016, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget surplus of 3.07 billion leva. For July, the ministry forecast a Budget surplus of 1.96 billion leva at the end of the month.
The state Budget had a surplus of 1.78 billion leva and the EU funds showed a deficit of 31 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first six months of 2017 was 488.3 million leva.
Revenue in January-June was 17.48 billion leva, down 1.2 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
The Finance Ministry said that tax and non-tax revenue was up by 6.8 per cent, but the overall decline was due to the lower amount of aid received by the budget, mainly as a consequence of the high amount of EU funds disbursed in the early months of 2016 – as Bulgaria sped up efforts to maximise its allocation of EU funds from the previous budgeting period – which set a high baseline for this year.
Tax revenues were up by 7.8 per cent compared to the first half of last year, at 14.54 billion leva.
Budget spending was 15.74 billion leva in January-June, up from 14.64 billion leva in the same period of 2016. In part, that was due to higher pension and health insurance payments resulting from the pension hike in July 2016, the ministry said.
(Photo: Alessandro Paiva)