Govt Adopts 2013 Budget Draft, Projects 1.9% GDP Growth

Govt Adopts 2013 Budget Draft, Projects 1.9% GDP Growth

Bulgaria's government approved the 2013 budget draft, which projects economic growth of 1.9% to some 81.49 billion levs ($53.7 billion/41.67 billion euro).

The budget deficit for next year is seen at 1.1 billion levs, which is equivalent to 1.3% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP), almost unchanged from the 1.35% gap planned for 2012, the government said in a statement following its weekly meeting on Wednesday.

Revenue is set at 30.59 billion levs, or 37.5% of the projected GDP, while expenditures are estimated at 31.69 billion levs, or 38.9% of the GDP. The projected revenue for 2013 exceeds the 2012 target by 1.84 billion levs, while spending is 1.85 billion levs above the 2012 plan.

Foreign direct investments in the country are expected to reach 4.2% of GDP next year, compared to 3.8% anticipated for 2012.

The budget debt ceiling is set at 14.6 billion levs, or 17.8% of GDP.

Next year's budget draft provides increased funding for education, culture, social welfare, environment protection and infrastructure.

"The 2013 budget is focused on continuation of the fiscal consolidation policy and preservation of Bulgaria's macroeconomic and fiscal stability, prioritising spending to sectors which provide economic growth, and fighting poverty and protecting the most vulnerable segments of the population," the government said.

The government expects Bulgaria's economy to grow by 1.2% this year, after expanding by 1.7% last year.

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