Bulgaria posted a 536.5 million lev ($360.1 million/274.3 million euro) consolidated budget deficit in January, compared with the 297.8 million lev gap it posted a year ago, preliminary finance ministry figures showed.
The negative balance was mostly due to high interest expenditures amounting to 293.4 million levs, related to government debt service, and the country's higher contribution to the EU budget in January compared to the same month in last year, the ministry said in a statement.
Budget revenues totalled 1.79 billion levs at the end of January, equivalent to 5.8% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP), while expenditures amounted to 2.32 billion levs, or 7.3% of GDP.
The fiscal reserve stood at 4.1 billion levs at the end of January.
Bulgaria closed last year with a budget deficit of 350.2 million levs, equivalent to 0.45% of the country's projected GDP. The government plans a budget shortfall of 1.3% of GDP for this year.