BUSINESS

Primary surplus exceeds January-July target figure

More revenues, restrained expenses lead to 2.27-bln-euro result

Greece’s state budget registered a 2.27-billion-euro primary surplus for the seven-month period covering January to July, exceeding expectations by 1.47 billion euros, Finance Ministry data showed Thursday.

The favorable result was attributed to the collection of higher-than-expected state revenues, combined with the containment of expenses beyond the objectives that had been set.

However, not all was rosy in the latest budget figures. OAEE, the social security fund for all the country’s self-employed, appears headed for trouble by the end of the year as it has already dug into 81.3 percent of its annual credit allowance with five months remaining.

State revenues before taxpayer returns exceeded the target set for the seven-month period by 713 million euros, without taking into account prospective revenues to be provided by the new ENFIA property tax, currently undergoing revisions ahead of the first round of payments, which are expected late in September.

Net revenue amounted to 26.2 billion euros, or 451 million (1.7 percent) more than than forecast. Total tax revenues reached 24.4 billion euros, exceeding the target figure by 342 million.

Tax returns for the seven-month period came to 2 billion euros. Although this figure exceeded the target by 262 million euros, it has helped to inject some much needed cash into the market.

Primary expenditure for the seven-month period was 880 million euros less than the target figure, contributing to the primary surplus achieved.

As for the country’s travel balance, figures showed a travel surplus of 1.8 billion euros for the month of June, a 16.7 percent increase compared to the figure registered for the same month last year.

Travel receipts in June, including those provided by cruise ships, increased by 278 million euros, or 16.3 percent, against the same month last year. Reaching 1.99 billion euros from 1.71 billion, the increase was attributed to a 13.7 percent increase in tourist arrivals, combined with an average spending increase of 2.5 percent per trip.

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