Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said on May 29 that the consolidated Budget surplus for the first four months of 2020 was 1.63 billion leva, exceeding the ministry’s forecast of 1.59 billion leva issued last month.
This was a significant drop compared to the same period of last year, when the country recorded a surplus of 2.7 billion leva. The ministry said that the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the revenue side of the Budget both due to the lockdown measures imposed in March to slow down the spread of the disease, but also due to extended deadlines for corporate and income tax payments.
The ministry said earlier that the impact of the measures, which shut down a large section of the country’s economy, would be felt with a degree of delay.
For May the ministry forecast a cumulative Budget surplus of 1.28 billion leva for the first five months of the year and a deficit of 352.8 million leva for the month of May alone.
The state Budget had a surplus of 1.19 billion leva and the EU funds surplus was 443.3 million leva at the end of April. Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget for the first four months of 2020 was 474.1 million leva.
Revenue in January-April was 14.62 billion leva, a decline of 552.9 million leva compared to the same period of last year. Tax revenues were down to 11.55 billion leva, compared to 11.97 billion leva in January-April 2019.
Budget spending was up to 12.99 billion leva in the first quarter, compared to 12.48 billion leva in the same period of 2019. Mainly, that was due to higher pension and health insurance payments resulting from the pension hikes in 2019 and increased wages in the public sector, as well as a higher contribution to the EU budget, the ministry said.