May rev­enues in deep slump

State recorded 33.5% fewer tak­ings com­pared to bud­get tar­get; June data also of con­cern

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

The good news of a rel­a­tively small de­cline in state rev­enues, re­flected on the bud­get data for March and April, was damp­ened last month by a slump of 33.5% com­pared to the bud­get tar­get.

Af­ter lag­ging bud­get tar­gets by 7% in March and 17.2% in April, state rev­enues missed their May tar­get by €1.143 bil­lion and even the re­vised tar­get sub­mit­ted in April with the Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram by €219 mil­lion, pro­vi­sional bud­get data pub­lished yes­ter­day showed.

A Fi­nance Min­istry source added yes­ter­day that the tar­get for the pri­mary bud­get bal­ance has also been re­vised for this year al­ready: In­stead of a pri­mary deficit of 1.9% of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct as pro­vided for in the Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram (and the orig­i­nal 3.5% pri­mary sur­plus tar­get of the 2020 bud­get), the fore­cast is for a pri­mary deficit of more than 3% af­ter the lat­est gov­ern­ment mea­sures that have been an­nounced.

The de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in May is to an ex­tent the flip­side of a rather good April, as many pro­fes­sion­als rushed to pay the value-added tax for March in a lump sum (in­stead of two tranches) in April to se­cure the 25% dis­count. In this sense, May’s fig­ures are not nec­es­sar­ily a de­vi­a­tion from the tar­gets for the fol­low­ing months too. “We had a con­sid­er­able re­duc­tion in rev­enues in May that were hurt si­mul­ta­ne­ously by the eco­nomic lock­down in April, the sus­pen­sion of tax obli­ga­tions for a very large sec­tion of the econ­omy and the pre­pay­ment in end-April of the VAT due in May. The lat­ter ex­plains the dis­crep­ancy in re­la­tion to the rev­enue pro­jec­tion in­cluded in the Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram,” said Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Thodoros Sky­lakakis,

com­ment­ing on the data.

How­ever, the first few days of June have al­ready given wor­ry­ing signs, as the lack of tourists is be­ing re­flected on rev­enues, while the ac­tual im­pact of the lock­down con­tin­ues to emerge day by day, the same min­istry source told Kathimerin­i.

He added that a 60% re­duc­tion in this sum­mer’s tourism (which is not the worst-case sce­nario) trans­lates into an an­nual GDP con­trac­tion of 3.5% for the sea­son.

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