Budget turns surplus in January despite revenue drop

Greece?s state budget turned a 155-million-euro surplus in January, down from a 578-million-euro surplus in the same month a year earlier, due to lower income, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

Revenues got the year off to a bad start, dipping 9.2 percent on an annual basis to 5.08 billion euros, versus a targetted annual growth rate of 8.6 percent, due to the absence of road-tax fees collected in January last year as well lower income from a windfall tax on companies.

Cost-cutting helped make up the difference as expenditure was reduced by 2.5 percent to 4.8 billion euros, as opposed to an annual 6.6 percent hike marked in the budget plan.

The state budget doesn’t include problematic sectors like local authorities and social security funds, which are incorporated in the general budget that Greece’s international lenders are monitoring carefully.

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