May 31, 2017 / 4:18 PM / 3 months ago

Bulgaria sees fiscal surplus rising to 1.7 pct of GDP at end-May

SOFIA, May 31 (Reuters) - Bulgaria expects a fiscal surplus of 1.7 percent of gross domestic product at the end of May, compared with a surplus of 3.1 percent in the same period last year, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Improved tax collection lifted the surplus to 1.6 percent of GDP in the first four months of the year, putting it in line with government projections that the country is likely to end the year with a smaller deficit than the targeted 1.4 percent.

Bulgaria ended 2016 with a surplus of 1.6 percent after initially targeting a deficit of 2.0 percent, mainly due to delays in administering EU-backed projects, which reduced capital spending, while economic growth exceeded forecasts.

Government revenue at the end of April rose 6.8 percent from a year before to 12 billion levs ($6.90 billion). Spending rose 10.4 billion levs from 9.8 billion a year ago, finance ministry data showed.

Fiscal reserves held under a currency regime pegging the lev to the euro stood at 13.2 billion levs at the end of April.

Bulgaria's economy will grow by 3.3-3.5 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 3 percent, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said on the first day after taking the post four weeks ago. ($1 = 1.7400 leva) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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