Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry has recorded a consolidated Budget deficit of 190.9 million leva in the first two months of the year, or 0.1 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, below the ministry’s forecast of 250 million leva issued last month.
The figure represented a sharp decline compared to the same period of 2022, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget surplus of 713.3 million leva.
In last month’s forecast, the ministry said that it was the first time since 2015 that a deficit was recorded after two months of the year and attributed it to spending rising faster than revenue.
For March, the ministry forecast a Budget deficit of 690 million leva at the end of the month, owing to the continued trend of spending increases outpacing the revenue rise.
The state Budget had a deficit of 300.1 million leva in January-February and the EU funds surplus was 109.2 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first two months of 2023 was 284 million leva.
Revenue in January-February was 9.45 billion leva, up 18 per cent from 8.01 billion leva recorded in the same period of last year. Tax revenues were 7.55 billion leva, an increase of 19.5 per cent, the ministry said.
Budget spending was 9.64 billion leva in the first two months of the year, compared to 7.3 billion leva in the same period of 2022, with the bulk of the increase going to higher pensions and subsidies, in particular the scheme to compensate non-household consumers for high electricity prices, the ministry said.
(Photo: Alessandro Paiva/sxc.hu)
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