Greek budget deficit below targets in Jan-Aug

Greece’s state budget deficit totalled 18.086 billion euros in the January-August period, down from a budget target of 18.974 billion euros, but up from 14.813 billion euros in the corresponding period last year, the Finance ministry said on Thursday.
A ministry report said that regular budget revenues were up by 125 million euros compared with budget targets, while spending were down by 763 million euros in the eight-month period. Monthly targets for budget deficit, revenues and spending have been revised following the adoption of a medium-term fiscal program which includes additional fiscal measures for the year. According to the medium-term program, this year’s budget deficit must total 19.808 billion euros.
Regular budget net revenues totalled 30.694 billion euros in the January-August period, for an annual decline of 5.3 pct -down from 6.4 pct in the January-July period. The public investment program’s revenues rose 43.4 pct, or 568 million euros, compared with the same period last year.
Regular budget spending grew 8.1 pct in the eight-month period, compared with 2010, reflecting an increase in interest spending by 2.067 billion euros, higher contributions to pension funds by 1.7 billion euros, to OAED by 322 million euros, and higher contributions to state hospitals by 853 million euros.
Primary spending grew 4.5 pct, or by 1.452 billion euros. The public investment program’s spending fell 30.3 pct or by 1.416 billion euros in the January-August period.

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