Deficit remains under control

The state budget deficit is 2.4 billion euros inside the amount forecast for the first six months of the year, according to data released by the Finance Ministry on Friday.

The deficit in the year to June amounted to 12.47 billion euros, compared with a forecast for 14.88 billion, while the primary deficit for the same period stood at 3.31 billion euros against a forecast for 5.26 billion.

Revenues in the first half of 2012, on the other hand, lagged their target by over 1.5 billion euros, coming in at 23.19 billion euros when the budget had provided for 24.75 billion. The ministry attributes this shortfall to the drop in income tax receipts, a result of repeated extensions regarding the deadline for the submission of tax statements this year. Receipts from transaction taxes have also dropped, owing to the decline in domestic demand.

State expenditure amounted to 35.66 billion euros, almost 4 billion euros less than forecast by the revised budget (39.63) for the year?s first half. The Public Investment Program has been curtailed by 1.62 billion euros more than anticipated.

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