ECONOMY

Budget keeps its primary surplus level

The state budget showed a primary surplus of 1.36 billion euros in the first eight months of the year, according to data released on Monday by the Finance Ministry.

At the same time, though, revenues continued to lag – by 727 million euros – while certain social security funds are in deep trouble, having cashed in more than their share of budget funding for the year to August.

The biggest problem in terms of revenues concerns direct taxation, mainly the 560-million-euro income tax hole. This has been attributed to the extension granted for the submission of tax declarations, which explains why the ministry is not particularly worried about the shortfall.

The primary surplus results largely from the considerable containment of expenditure. Primary spending in the January-August period was 1.9 billion euros below the original target. Spending through the Public Investments Program amounted to just 2.5 billion euros against a plan for 3.8 billion.

In terms of net cash flow, however, when the revenues from the profits the eurozone’s national central banks recorded from Greek bonds are added, the primary surplus more than doubles to 2.8 billion euros.