ECONOMY

Bulgaria’s Feb budget surplus 0.9 pct of GDP

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria posted a budget surplus of 0.93 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in February, in line with its plans to achieve a fiscal surplus of at least 3 percent of GDP this year, data showed yesterday. The Balkan country’s budget surplus stood at 574.7 million levs ($459 million) in February, Finance Ministry data showed. Booming imports and strong domestic demand as Bulgarians rush to take banking credits to buy new cars and apartments after decades of communist austerity have sharply boosted the current account deficit. Total fiscal revenues in February stood at 3.881 billion levs, while spending was 3.131 billion levs, data showed. Tax income, the largest revenue item, was 3.32 billion levs and 175 million went for contribution to the EU budget. The Socialist-led government ended 2007 with a record-high 3.8 percent budget surplus, after the external shortfall jumped to 21.6 percent of GDP. Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski has said the government is ready to cut spending further and increase the fiscal surplus to avoid a hard landing for the economy if foreign investment decreases due to the global credit crunch.