Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said that the consolidated Budget deficit for the full year 2021 was 3.91 billion leva, on cash basis, or three per cent of the estimated gross domestic product, slightly lower than the ministry’s four billion leva forecast issued last month and the 4.6 billion leva target in the revised Budget Act.
The figure represented an increase over the 3.53 billion leva deficit recorded in 2020, although it remained unchanged as a ratio to GDP, as the deficit was three per cent both in 2020 and 2021.
The ministry attributed the fact that final deficit figures were below the target to increased Budget revenue collection, saying that it recorded the largest year-on-year increase, in nominal terms, of five billion leva.
The state Budget had a deficit of 4.03 billion leva and the EU funds recorded a surplus of 122.1 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget in 2021 was 1.68 billion leva.
Revenue in 2021 was 52.34 billion leva, an 18.1 per cent increase compared to 2020 and 3.5 per cent higher than the target set in the revised 2021 Budget Act. Tax revenues stood at 40.87 billion leva, which was 3.7 per cent higher than the amount targeted.
Budget spending was 56.25 billion leva in 2021, up from 47.84 billion leva a year earlier, and two per cent higher than the target set in the revised 2021 Budget Act.
The increased spending was due to Budget-funded measures to reduce the social and economic impact of Covid-19, which were higher than the amounts spent in 2020, higher spending on state pensions, but also state aid to compensate consumers for increased energy prices in the final months of 2021.
The Finance Ministry said that it expected a Budget surplus of 940 million leva in January 2022.
(Photo: Pedro Moura Pinheiro/flickr.com)
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