Bulgaria’s consolidated budget showed a surplus of BGN 257.1 M at the end of March, equivalent to 0.3 % of the GDP projected for 2015, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

This compared with a consolidated budget deficit of BGN 874 M at the end of the first quarter of last year.

“Compared to end-March 2014, the budget position has improved by 1.4 % of GDP,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The surplus at the end of March 2015 - the first surplus recorded in the first quarter of the year since 2009 – comprised a surplus of BGN 156.2 M under the national budget and a surplus of BGN 100.9 M under EU funds.

“The higher revenues continue to be the main factor for the improvement of the budget balance, while expenditures develop as provided for in the fiscal framework. The rate of revenue growth significantly outpaces the rate of expenditure growth which results in the reported budget balance improvement,” according to the statement.

Consolidated revenues and grants totalled  BGN 7.8 B, or 25.7 % of the 2015 plan, at the end of March. Compared to the same period of 2014 revenues and grants have increased by BGN 1.2 B, or 18.6 %.

Tax revenues have risen by 14.2% year-on-year in nominal terms, reaching BGN 5.9 B at the end of March, which is 24.7% of the 2015 plan.

“The highest growth is reported in indirect tax revenues, followed by revenues from social security and health insurance contributions,” according to the statement.

VAT revenues have increased by BGN 352 M, reaching BGN 1.97 B or 25.4% of the annual plan. Excise duty revenues have risen by 11.1 % on the year, reaching BGN 950 M, or 22.7 % of the 2015 plan. Custom duties revenues have grown by 12.5% and totalled BGN 39.4 M at the end of March 2015, or 27.2 % of the annual plan.

Consolidated budget spending, including Bulgaria’s contribution of BGN 302 M to the EU budget, totalled BGN 7.5 B at the end of March, or 23 % of the annual plan.

This compared with BGN 7.45 B in consolidated budget spending a year earlier, which was equivalent to 23% of the 2014 plan.

Bulgaria’s fiscal reserve totalled BGN 11.1 B at the end of March, including BGN 10.1 B in deposits with the central bank and banks and BGN 1.0 B in receivables under EU funds.

Source