ECONOMY

75-billion-drachma surplus recorded for first eight months of 2001

Ordinary budget revenues in August rose by 8.88 percent or 85 billion drachmas year-on-year, resulting in a surplus of 75 billion drachmas in the January-August period, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Revenue for the eight-month period was up by 9 percent year-on-year, compared with an annual growth target of 8 percent. Ordinary budget revenues last month amounted to 1,050 billion drachmas, with gains seen in both tax and value-added receipts, custom levies and dividends from state-owned enterprises. The figure represented a 5-billion-drachma surplus from the set target. Tax offices reported an 8.64-percent rise in revenues for August to 741 billion drachmas, accounting for 70.6 percent of the total yield for that month. The increase in the eight-month period was 7.04 percent, with revenues amounting to 5,811 billion drachmas. This represented 68 percent of the total takings for the period. Customs revenues in August went up by 3.81 percent to 262 billion drachmas, and by 4.49 percent in the January-August period. Dividends from state-controlled companies presented the biggest increase, up by 54 percent last month and up by 45.14 percent over eight months. Value added taxes showed a 12.8-percent surge in August, while in the January-August period takings improved by 10.92 percent. He also referred to the International Monetary Fund’s revised forecast for Greek GDP growth in 2002. The IMF raised its forecast to 4.3 percent, from 3.8 percent previously.