ECONOMY

Positive picture in preliminary budget data

Budget execution data from the year’s first five months are showing a better-than-forecast drop in the fiscal deficit and a rise in net budget revenues. In January-May 2010, the deficit amounted to 8.98 billion euros from 14.66 billion euros in the same period last year, a decline of 38.7 percent on a yearly basis against an annual target of 35.1 percent, according to the Stability and Growth Program. The net revenues of the budget have risen by 8.3 percent compared to last year’s first five months, against an annual program target for growth of 11.7 percent. This was due to the receipt of 779 million euros in revenues from the one-off contribution by major enterprises for the 2008 financial year, the increase in special consumption taxes and value-added tax on tobacco, alcohol and fuel, as well as the reduction of tax returns by 364 million euros from the same period in 2009.