Bulgaria’s full-year budget gap may turn out lower-than-planned as revenues outperform - FinMin

By bne IntelliNews June 26, 2015

Bulgaria's finance minister Vladislav Goranov expects the government to collect more revenues than planned this year, helping the budget deficit to end the year at below the target of 3% of GDP.

Budget revenues and grants have reached BGN16.2bn (€8.3bn) so far this year, accounting for 53.3% of the full-year plan, and could exceed their target by BGN2bn, Goranov told a parliament committee as quoted by Capital Daily. The available data for June shows that the national revenue agency and the customs have collected by BGN905mn and BGN150mn more than in June 2014, Goranov said. He attributed the increases to legislative amendments that improved revenue collection.

Meanwhile, Goranov warned that the national health insurance fund (NHIF) presents a risk for the country’s fiscal performance also this year. Last year, a BGN400mn deficit at NHIF partly triggered a budget revision as the state had to fill in the gap. This could happen again, the minister said.

Goranov said also that Bulgaria's first-half budget surplus will exceed BGN1.1bn without providing further details. Last month the finance ministry reported a consolidated budget surplus of BGN1.07bn (1.3% of GDP) for January-April and estimated that the surplus reached BGN1.15bn at end-May, the biggest five-month surplus since 2008. The latest information revealed by Goranov suggests that the budget will be nearly balanced in June.

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