Five-month government deficit widens

Greece?s central government deficit widened 13 percent year-on-year in the first five months of 2011, missing an interim budget target, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The central government deficit stood at 10.28 billion euros for the January-May period, higher than the 9.07-billion-euro target, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Net budget revenues dropped 7.1 percent year-on-year to 18.36 billion euros, compared with a 20.52-billion-euro target. The ministry attributed the revenue shortfall to a worse-than-expected recession and one-off road taxes that boosted revenue in early 2010.

The budget data concern the state budget deficit, which excludes local authorities and social security spending and does not coincide with the general government shortfall.