Greek state budget deficit up 8.5 pct in Jan-Feb

Greek state budget deficit fell by 55 million euros in the January-February period this year, compared with budget provisions, to 1.024 billion euros, the Finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said that the deficit widened by 8.5 pct compared with the same period in 2010, reflecting non-repeated measures and a higher-than-projected economic recession in the last quarter of 2010. Net regular budget revenues totaled 7.95 billion euros, down 9.1 pct, reflecting lower tax proceeds, while spending grew 3.3 pct, boosted by repayment of state hospitals’ debt with primary spending falling 0.1 pct and interest spending down 1.4 pct in the first two months of the year. Revenues of a Public Investments Program soared 354.5 pct, while spending fell 67.9 pct in the two-month period.

The finance ministry said net regular budget revenues were down by 860 million euros compared with budget provisions, while revenues of a Public Investments Program were up by 603 million euros. Spending were up by 284 million euros, compared with budget provisions, while Public Investment Program’s spending were down 595 million euros.

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