Bulgaria January-September 2017 Budget surplus at 2.42B leva
Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said on October 31 that the consolidated Budget surplus for the first nine months of 2017 was 2.42 billion leva, or 2.4 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, exceeding the ministry’s 2.39 billion leva forecast issued last month.
The January-September figure was about 960 million leva less than in the same period of 2016, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget surplus of 3.36 billion leva. For October, the ministry forecast a Budget surplus of 2.39 billion leva at the end of the month.
The state Budget had a surplus of 2.48 billion leva and the EU funds recorded a deficit of 61.2 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first nine months of 2017 was 676.6 million leva.
Revenue in January-September was 26.15 billion leva, compared to 25.65 billion leva recorded during the same period of last year.
The Finance Ministry said that tax and non-tax revenue was up by 7.6 per cent, offsetting 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.
Tax revenues were up by 8.7 per cent compared to the first nine months of last year, at 21.86 billion leva.
Budget spending was 23.73 billion leva in January-September, up from 22.29 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.
That amount represented 64.5 per cent of the total amount earmarked for this year, with spending set to increase sharply in the last quarter of the year. This is traditionally due to the higher payments on infrastructure and other investment projects at the end of construction season, the ministry said.
The finance ministry’s updated macroeconomic framework envisions zero deficit for this year, compared to the 1.4 per cent of GDP deficit set in the Budget Act. This is mainly due to lower EU funds spending, while revenue projections have outpaced initial targets.