Bulgaria's Q1 Budget deficit at 1.67B leva

Bulgaria's Q1 Budget deficit at 1.67B leva

Bulgaria's consolidated Budget deficit for the first three months of 2010 was 1.67 billion leva, growing by 271 million leva in March alone, data released by the Finance Ministry on Mary 3 showed.Budget revenue was 5.17 billion leva, down from 6.6 billion leva in the first quarter of 2009. Tax revenue declined from 5.16 billion leva in January-March 2009 to 4.18 billion leva in the first three months of 2010.Value-added tax revenue was 995.3 million leva, which was 606 million short of the amount collected in the first quarter of 2009. The reason for the decline was, according to the Finance Ministry, "the one-off increased revenue in January 2009 as a result of higher spending in December 2008 (including sizeable public spending)", shrinking consumption and declining imports.Spending, however, had increased to 6.6 billion leva, up from 5.64 billion leva for the same period of 2009. Spending on salaries increased from 928.1 million leva to 992.4 million, maintenance costs rose from 1.03 billion leva to 1.11 billion and spending on benefits increased from 2.24 billion leva to 2.75 billion leva. Capital spending rose from 617.8 million leva to 773.4 million.The fiscal reserve at the end of March 2010 was 6.36 billion leva.

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