The Slovenia Times

General government deficit at 2.6% of GDP in first nine months


The deficit in the January-September period is considerably lower than in the same period last year (EUR 1.06bn or 3.9% of GDP) and below the government target of 3% of GDP.

For the third quarter of 2015 alone, the general government deficit has been estimated at EUR 66m or 0.7% of GDP, which is considerably lower compared to the previous two quarters.

In the first quarter it amounted to EUR 387m or 4.3% of GDP and in the second quarter it stood at EUR 290m or 2.9% of GDP.

The general government deficit in the third quarter of this year is in fact the lowest since 2008, the Statistics Office noted.

"Slovenian finances are recovering," Andrej Flajs of the office's national accounts department told the press in Ljubljana, adding that the two main reasons were economic growth and the public finance balancing act, which had frozen the growth of certain expenses.

Flajs stressed that Slovenia needed to reduce general government deficit below 3% of GDP this year in order to exit the procedure related to excess deficit introduced by the European Commission in 2009.

"I think that we will make it," he said, adding that success depended primarily on Slovenia's performance in the drawing of EU funds.

Among the reasons for the annual reduction of the general government deficit in the first three quarters are revenues from taxes and social contributions increasing by 3.4%, revenues from dividends by 23.8% and transfers from the EU by 10.5%.

On the other hand, basic expenditure such as wages and investments decreased by 0.4%, Flajs noted.

One-off transactions excluded, Slovenian public finances recorded a EUR 161m surplus or 0.5% of GDP, which is the first surplus since the economic and financial crisis started. "This is only the beginning of a serious recovery of public finances," he stressed.

The general government debt at the end of the third quarter meanwhile amounted to EUR 32.1bn or 84.1% of GDP, which is EUR 1.5bn or 3.3 percentage points more than at the end of the second quarter.


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