Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry has recorded a consolidated Budget surplus of 117.7 million leva in the first half of the year, or 0.1 per cent of this year’s estimated gross domestic product, broadly in line with the ministry’s forecast of 0.2 billion leva issued last month.
The figure represented a sharp drop compared to the same period of 2022, when Bulgaria recorded a Budget surplus of 1.18 billion leva, but also a sizeable swing from the 1.18 billion leva deficit recorded in the first five months of 2023.
The ministry said that the upswing was owed to the inflow of corporate tax revenues (June 30 is the deadline in Bulgaria for paying corporate tax for the previous year), as well as dividend from state-owned companies and the annual transfer of European Investment Bank funds for projects it finances in Bulgaria.
For July, the ministry forecast a Budget surplus of 0.5 billion leva at the end of the month.
The state Budget had a surplus of 167.4 million leva in the first six months of the year and the EU funds recorded a surplus of 10.2 million leva. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for January-June 2023 was 847.6 million leva.
Revenue in the first half of the year was 31.4 billion leva, up 11.2 per cent compared to the same period of last year. Tax revenues were 24.58 billion leva, an increase of 10.5 per cent year-on-year, the ministry said.
Budget spending was 31.22 billion leva in the first six months of the year, compared to 27.08 billion leva in the same period of 2022, with the bulk of the increase going to higher pensions and salaries in the public sector, as well as increased capital spending, the ministry said.