Slovakia’s public finances improved slightly in July, with the deficit falling by €194 million month-on-month to a 2009 total of €914 million, according to information published by the Finance Ministry on August 3, the TASR newswire wrote.
Slovakia’s deficit stood at only €20 million in the same month last year. With regards to the size of this year's deficit, the ministry points to a drop in public revenue, lower by 6.5 percent year-on-year in July. At the same time, state expenditures rose by almost 8 percent y-o-y.
The public finance deficit in July stood at more than 90 percent of the sum expected for the whole year - €1 billion. State revenue reached €5.8 billion, representing 42.2 percent of the expected €13.1 billion for 2009. State expenditures reached €6.7 billion, representing 47.5 percent of the plan for the whole year - €14.1 billion.
The public finance deficit for 2009 was originally planned not to exceed the 3 percent threshold set by the EU's Growth and Stability Pact. But earlier this year the Finance Ministry announced that the deficit would exceed this threshold due to the economic crisis. It then published a prognosis conceding that a slump in GDP of more than 6 percent in 2009 will lead to a public finance deficit of similar proportions.
It was dividends from state-owned shares in stock companies that had a positive influence on the public finance budget in July, macro-economic analyst with UniCredit Bank Slovakia, David Dereník, told TASR August 3.
“The dividends usually begin to flow into the state budget as of July,” he told the TASR. Dereník stated that there is a need not only to direct policies towards supporting state budget revenues but also to slash less effective expenditures. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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