Bulgaria January-October 2019 Budget surplus at 1.08B leva

Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry has said that the consolidated Budget surplus for the first 10 months of 2019 was 1.08 billion leva, or 0.9 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, falling short of the ministry’s 1.11 billion leva forecast issued last month.

The figure represented a decline of 1.7 percentage points of GDP compared to the same period of 2018, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget surplus of 2.84 billion leva. For November, the Finance Ministry forecast a Budget surplus of 1.07 billion leva at the end of the month, the ministry said in a statement.

The sharp year-on-year drop was due mainly to the lump-sum payment to the US of $1.2 billion, made in the summer, under international government procurement contracts to acquire eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft and related equipment and armaments.

The state Budget had a surplus of 1.22 billion leva, while the EU funds recorded a deficit of 134.4 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first 10 months of 2019 was 1.09 billion leva.

Revenue in January-October was 36.32 billion leva, well above the 32.61 billion leva recorded during the same period of last year. Tax revenues were up by 8.7 per cent compared to the first 10 months of last year, reaching 29.09 billion leva.

Budget spending was 35.24 billion leva in January-October, up from 29.77 billion leva in the same period of 2018.

In part, that was due to the F-16 acquisition, but also higher pension and health insurance payments resulting from several pension hikes in 2018 and 2019, as well as higher salaries in the education sector and the public administration, the ministry said.

(Photo: Michael Faes/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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