The general government primary surplus was up by 834 million euros in the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2017, according to a report by the Parliament’s Budget Office (PBO).
In the state budget, tax revenues posted an increase of 393 million euros and the revenues of the Public Investments Program rose by 355 million euros.
However, all this is offset by the revenue shortfall from the privatizations front, which comes under the category of “Non-Tax and Extraordinary Revenues.” Although in cash terms the reduced revenues from sell-offs and state asset utilizations have a weighty impact, in fiscal terms the effect is smaller. There was also a significant annual rise in tax rebates, amounting to 336 million euros.
On the expenditure side, there was a 689-million-euro decline on a yearly basis, due to the major drop in spending on interest payments (744 million euros, while the primary spending of the budget was increased by 16 million euros and the expenditure of the Public Investments Program was up 39 million euros year-on-year.
A major factor in the increase of the primary surplus this year was also the reduction of the general government’s overdue obligations by 344 million euros.