Op­ti­mism for a pri­mary sur­plus

Fi­nance Min­istry says in­di­rect tax rev­enues beat tar­get by about 14 per­cent in May for the first time

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

De­spite a pri­mary deficit of 984 mil­lion eu­ros in the pe­riod from Jan­uary to May 2013, the bud­get is within tar­get and, ac­cord­ing to Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Chris­tos Staik­ouras, “the fis­cal pic­ture of the coun­try has im­proved over th­ese five months.”

The high-rank­ing min­istry of­fi­cial added that based on data for the year un­til May, it will be pos­si­ble for the bud­get to end 2013 with a pri­mary deficit.

Pub­lic rev­enues con­tinue to lag, how­ever, and Fi­nance Min­istry data is­sued yes­ter­day showed that rev­enues be­fore tax re­bates are down by 562 mil­lion eu­ros com­pared to the tar­get. Ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures, the short­fall of 248 mil­lion eu­ros con­cerns re­duced in­take from di­rect taxes and 254 mil­lion eu­ros from in­di­rect tax­a­tion.

In May alone to­tal rev­enues amounted to 3.5 bil­lion eu­ros, lag­ging 4 per­cent be­low the monthly tar­get, a de­cline that is ex­clu­sively at­trib­uted to di­rect taxes.

How­ever, “May was the first month in which we not only met our tar­get for in­di­rect tax rev­enues, as we also did in April, but have also ex­ceeded it by about 14 per­cent,” said Staik­ouras.

He went on to es­ti­mate that in the next few months – with the pro­cess­ing of in­come tax dec­la­ra­tions and the pay­ment of the FAP prop­erty taxes of 2011 and 2012 – the fis­cal short­fall of the first five months of the year will be cov­ered.

The state bud­get deficit amounted to 3.86 bil­lion eu­ros by May 31 from 10.87 bil­lion last year and a tar­get of 7.06 bil­lion eu­ros. This con­sti­tutes a deficit re­duc­tion from 5.6 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion last year to just 2.1 per­cent this year to May.

Mean­while, the Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Au­thor­ity (ELSTAT) an­nounced yes­ter­day that the con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) posted a de­cline for a third con­sec­u­tive month, show­ing a de­fla­tion of 0.4 per­cent in May, on an an­nual ba­sis. In April, the CPI had dropped by 0.6 per­cent and in March by 0.2 per­cent.

ELSTAT also an­nounced that in­dus­trial out­put in April con­tin­ued to shrink, by 1.8 per­cent from the same month in 2012. This com­pares with a 2.9 per­cent an­nual de­cline a year ear­lier.

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