The Slovenia Times

General government deficit at 3.4% of GDP in first quarter


General government debt stood at EUR 32.577bn or 83.8% of GDP.

The government plans to reduce the deficit to 2.2% of GDP or EUR 871m from last year's 2.9% by the end of the year.

Notably up were revenues from taxes and social contributions. They rose by 3.3% to EUR 3.44bn in nominal terms in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Revenue from taxes rose by 3.8% to EUR 2.02bn and revenue from social contributions were up by 2.7% to EUR 1.425bn.

In line with the European rules, the Statistics Office also entered in the accounts of the first quarter a part of revenue from the 2014 sale of radio frequencies aimed at supporting communication services in the country.

The first part of the revenue in the amount of EUR 92m was entered in the accounts in the second quarter of 2014, while the remaining EUR 57m was entered now, as the remaining frequencies became active.

A notable increase in expenditure was recorded in the financing of public sector employees. The costs here were up by 6.3% year-on-year to EUR 1.115bn. Also up was social transfers expenditure, reaching EUR 1.742bn, up 2% from the same period last year.

On the other hand, investment expenditure dropped significantly, by EUR 137m or 34% to EUR 267m, compared to the first quarter of 2015.

"This drop was expected and is connected to the conclusion of the 2007-2013 European financial perspective," Peter Štemberger of the Statistics Office said at today's press conference.

EU's transfers for investments plummeted by more than 90%, from EUR 72m to EUR 7m.

Other capital transfers were however notably up, from EUR 12m in the first quarter of 2015 to EUR 60m, mostly due to the transactions of the bad bank.

Štemberger expects these transactions to continue, while their dynamics is impossible to foresee.

Interest expenditure continues to rise at a slower pace. In the first quarter, Slovenia allocated EUR 289m for interest payments, which is only EUR 2m more than in the first three months of 2015.

The primary deficit, meaning the deficit without interest expenditure, stood at EUR 24m or 0.3% of GDP in the first quarter. In January-March 2015, it reached EUR 78m or 0.9% of GDP.

Consolidated general government debt at the end of the first quarter stood at EUR 32.577bn or 83.8% of GDP, preliminary data show. The government plans to reduce it to 80.2% by the end of the year. At the end of 2015, it reached 83.2% of GDP.

The debt therefore increased by some EUR 500m, virtually entirely on the level of the state. At the local level, the debt decreased by EUR 13m.

In January-March period, the state paid a part of its debt and a bond worth EUR 1.1bn while it took out new loans in the amount of EUR 1.6bn.


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