Revenues are missing the mark

Greek budget revenues in the first six months of the year rose 5.7 percent, falling well short of the targeted 12.1 percent annual growth rate and indicating that the government may soon be forced to revise its 2008 fiscal goals. Figures from the Finance Ministry show that revenues in the January-to-June period rose by 1.33 billion euros to 24.8 billion euros. The biggest increase in June came from customs duties, which jumped 18.4 percent on an annual basis, according to Finance Ministry figures. June revenues from value added tax increased 4.7 percent to 840 million euros. Ministry sources have said the government may announce a revision to annual fiscal targets in September as it puts the final touches to the 2009 draft budget. Greece is aiming to lower its budget deficit to 1.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2008 from a 2.8 percent budget deficit last year.