Preliminary 2003 budget figures testing expectations

SLOVAKIA's state budget for 2003 had a deficit of Sk56 billion (€1.4 billion), or 99.9 percent of the projected gap of Sk56.04 billion, according to preliminary figures, the TASR news wire reported.

Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said he believed the target deficit for public finances had also been held to the planned 4.9 percent of gross domestic product.

Official budget performance results will be published in March.

Budget revenues for last year rose by Sk12.7 billion (€309.3 million) year-on-year to Sk233.06 billion (€5.68 billion), or 99 percent of the full-year target. Expenditure increased by Sk18.05 billion (€439.6 million) to Sk289.05 billion (€7.04 billion), or 99.2 percent of the projection.

Tax revenues were received at 92.8 percent, up by Sk11.29 billion (€274.97 billion) to Sk200.13 billion (€4.87 billion). Excise revenues were 5 percent higher than estimated, rising by Sk6.05 billion (€147.35 million) on the year to Sk38.05 billion (€926.7 million). This was caused mainly by August's unplanned hike of excise duties on fuel, cigarettes, and beer.

Value-added tax revenues rose by Sk1.54 billion (€37.51 million) to Sk83.78 billion (€2.04 billion), representing only 84 percent of the target.

On the expenditure side, current expenses totalled Sk257.7 billion (€6.28 billion) or 99.6 percent, and capital expenses stood at Sk31.36 billion (€763.8 million) or 95.7 percent.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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