Bulgaria Expects Budget Surplus for 2016Finance | December 30, 2016, Friday // 18:24| views
The Finance Ministry building in Sofia. File photo, BGNES
Bulgaria's budget for this year will have a surplus of at least BGN 1.508 B, the Finance Ministry has said.
The figure amounts to 1.6% of the GDP projection, according to a ministry statement. The National Statistical Institute (NSI)'s revised estimate for the previous year, 2015, was a 1.7% deficit.
Compared to the previous year, the budget balance for 2016 shows an improvement of 4.4 percentage points, largely owed to higher revenues and lower expenditure.
Revenues to the treasury are projected at BGN 33.944 B (2.8% higher than the figure set in the State Budget Act currently enforced), BGN 1.745 B more compared to last year.
The reason is better tax collection and other revenues, but not EU allocations whose value is lower than last year.
Direct taxes grew by BGN 2.1 B this year, while indirect ones (excise duties and others) were up by BGN 1.2 B, VAT revenue alone having increased by 11.5% (or BGN 0.9 B), the ministry argues.
Expenditure will be at BGN 32.436 B, according to current projections, or 93.2% of what was set in the budget.
EU absorption targets are not expected to be met, falling BGN 2 B short of the value set in the budget, with the ministry citing the fact most operational programs are at an "initial stage".
Bulgaria has disbursed BGN 859.5 B to the EU as its annual contribution, the institution has added.