Bulgaria's government said that it has approved the finance ministry's draft for state budget for 2019, targeting a deficit equivalent to 0.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) projected for that year. Budget revenue is expected to come in at 43.86 billion levs ($25.79 billion/22.42 billion) in 2019, while expenses are seen at 44.46 million levs, the government said in a statement following its meeting on Sunday. Last week the finance ministry said it expects the country's GDP to increase by a real 3.7% to 116.4 billion levs in 2019 driven by higher public spending. Average annual inflation is projected to accelerate to 3.0% in 2019 from 2.7% expected this year. Defence, education and social policy are among the priorities of the 2019 budget, the finance ministry said. Defence spending is expected to total 1.84 billion levs in 2019, equivalent to 1.58% of the projected GDP. The government plans to reach the NATO target of defence spending of 2% of GDP by 2024.