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Budget ends 2006 with deficit of Sk31.7 billion

THE STATE budget deficit at the end of 2006 was Sk31.678 billion (€915.5 million), down from Sk33.89 billion at the end of 2005, and well under the Sk57.47 billion planned for this year, Finance Ministry spokesman Miroslav Šmál reported on January 2.

The improved figure was due to strong economic growth, which hit 9.8 percent in real terms in the third quarter, and related stronger inflows of taxes.

Budget income came to Sk292 billion at the end of 2006, up almost Sk20 billion from the Sk272.717 billion planned, and helping the new Fico government pay for some of its social spending programs, such as Christmas bonuses to pensioners.

On the other hand, expenditures, which were planned at Sk330 billion, stood at Sk324 billion at the end of December 2006.

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