Albania’s general budget posted a surplus of ALL 2.3bn (EUR 16.5mn) in January 2014, swinging from a deficit of ALL 0.2bn a year earlier, data from the finance ministry showed.
The improvement was due to a 10.5% y/y drop in budget spending, which was exclusively on account of lower public investments. On the other hand, current expenditure advanced by 1.3% y/y in the month.
Total budget revenues declined by 1.4% y/y to ALL 27.3bn. Tax revenues remained flat on the year at ALL 17bn. Within this group, revenues from VAT increased by 13.8% y/y to ALL 9bn, which was sufficient to offset falling revenues from excise, corporate and income taxes. Total social contributions picked up 1.3% y/y in January 2014.
Last year Albania’s general budget deficit widened by 42.7% y/y to ALL 65.4bn, as revenue fell, while expenditures increased. In our calculations, the deficit accounted for 4.9% of the projected full-year GDP, up from 3.5% a year earlier.
We note that the government projects the budget deficit to widen to 6.5% of the GDP in 2014.
|General Budget, January, ALL bn|
|Total social contributions||5.9||6.0||1.3|
|Total expenditures of which:||27.9||25.0||-10.5|
|Balance (% of GDP forecast)||0.0||0.2|
|Source: Ministry of finance|
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