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Govt revises forecast for budget deficit

04/08/2015 12:34
The Cypriot government positively revised the forecast for this year’s budget deficit to 0,7% compared to the previous estimate of 1,1%.

According to figures announced yesterday by the Statistical Service, the budget deficit as measured with the EU methodology amounted to € 31 mn. or 0.02% of GDP in the first half of 2015 compared to a deficit of € 5,6 mn. in the first semester of 2014 .

The calculation of the deficit by Cystat differs from that of the Ministry of Finance, which estimates that the deficit reached 0.81% or € 140 mn in the first half of 2015 compared with a surplus of 0.05% or € 8 mn. in the corresponding period of 2014. The ministry estimates deficit on a cash basis.

According to the head of Cystat for public finances, Stavros Karagiorgis, the positive fiscal performance led troika to revise its estimate for FY2015 deficit to -0,7% (€ 130 mn.) compared to the previous estimate of 1.1%.

Based on yesterday's data by Cystat, government revenues amounted to € 3159,9 mn. from € 3185,6 mn. last year, with the largest category being taxes on production and imports (€ 1224,1 mn.).

Contributions to the Social Security Fund amounted to € 776,1 mn. from € 763 mn. last year while current taxes on income and wealth reached € 662,2 mn. from € 736,6 mn.

Public expenditures were reduced to € 3190,1 mn. from € 3191,2 mn. in the first half of 2014.

Expenditure on salaries fell to € 1044,8 mn. from € 1062,4 mn.

Primary surplus amounted to € 202,5 mn. from € 187,8 mn. last year.

Consistent with the objectives of the Memorandum, government revenues are expected to reach €6892,4 mn. in 2015 while spending is expected to reach € 7022,4 mn.

Primary surplus is expected to reach € 334,3 mn or 1.9% of GDP.