Greek budget deficit widens in Jan-May

Greek budget deficit widened to 10.275 billion euros in the January-May period, significantly up compared with a budget target for a deficit of 9.072 billion euros, the Finance ministry said on Tuesday. The budget deficit was 9.1 billion euros in the January-May period last year.
The finance ministry attributed this development to the fact that state budget revenues fell short by 1.936 billion euros, while spending fell by 734 million euros in the five-month period. Regular budget revenues, pre-tax returns, grew 4.7 pct in May, compared with the same month last year, with net revenues rising 1.3 pct, while net revenues in the January-May period fell 7.1 pct compared with 2010.
The Finance ministry attributed its lower revenues to a deep recession in the last quarter of 2010, to non-repeating revenues from car registration fees, lower withholding taxes and higher tax returns.
Regular budget spending grew 6.4 pct in may, with primary spending rising 4.3 pct, while spending by a Public Investment Programe dropped 47.3 pct.

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