January-July budget surplus jumps to 2.08 billion euros

January-July budget surplus  jumps to 2.08 billion euros

Greece’s state budget achieved a primary budget surplus of 2.08 billion euros in the first seven months of the year, more than double the planned 929 million euros, but investments and tax refunds were well below target, according to the Finance Ministry’s preliminary budget execution bulletin published on Tuesday.

The surplus came in at 3.02 billion in the same period last year. If the government had returned taxes owed to businesses and reactivated the public investment program, the surplus would have been around the target level of about 1 billion euros.

According to the data, the state budget’s net revenues amounted to 27.429 billion euros, an increase of 354 million euros year-on-year and 1.3 percent above the target. How the regular budget revenue categories performed individually will be presented in the final bulletin.

Ordinary budget net revenues in January-July amounted to 26.09 billion euros, 2.2 percent or 549 million euros above the target. The figure for July alone was 5.45 billion euros, when ordinary budget net revenues exceeded the monthly target by 204 million euros.

However, Public Investment Budget (PIB) expenditure fell short of the target by 757 million euros, reaching 1.23 billion euros in January-July 2018. PIB expenditure for July alone was 277 million euros, or 78 million euros below the target. PIB revenues came at 1.33 million euros versus a target of 196 million euros.

State budget expenditures for the January-July period amounted to 28.9 billion euros, 691 million euros less than the target of 29.6 billion, but 325 million euros higher than the same period last year. The Finance Ministry said the state spent an additional 213 million euros on the social solidarity income program and 230 million euros on allowances for families with children.

Tax refunds (which exclude those in the arrears clearance program) were 333 million euros below target in January-July, reaching 2.33 billion euros against a planned 2.66 billion euros.

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