Greece on Tuesday reported a primary budget surplus (ie before interest payments) of 1.048 billion euros for the first four months of 2014, surpassing a budget target for a surplus of 742 million euros.
Presenting a report on budget execution, Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that the state budget balance showed a deficit of 1.144 billion euros in the January-April period, from a deficit of 2.426 billion euros in the same period last year and a budget target for a shortfall of 1.459 billion euros.
Staikouras said the data confirmed that the government’s economic policy programme was achieving its fiscal goals. Net state budget revenue totaled 13.844 billion euros in the four-month period, down 1.051 billion euros, or 7.1 percent compared with budget targets, of which 500 million euros are the delayed return of capital gains from European central banks’ Greek bond holdings.
Tax revenues totaled 12.784 billion euros, 1.6 pct lower than targets, while the General Accounting Office said that the four-month figure was significantly lower than a three-month figure. Tax returns totaled 906 million euros, up 431 million euros from targets.
Public Investment Programme revenues totaled 2.295 billion euros, up 788 million euros from targets, while state budget spending totaled 17.282 billion euros, down 578 million euros on targets. Regular budget spending totaled 15.884 billion euros in the January-April period, down 976 million euros on targets, reflecting a 809-million-euro reduction in primary spending.
Regular budget spending was down 8.4 percent compared with the same period last year. Public investment rose by 398 million euros to 1.398 billion, compared with budget targets and was up 562 million euros on the same period last year.