MADRID Spain's caretaker government expects to beat this year's deficit target set by Brussels but will fall short of next year's goal, business daily newspaper Expansion reported on Tuesday, citing sources with knowledge of the draft budget.
Spain expects to end this year with a budget shortfall of 4.4 percent of output, below the target set by the European Commission of 4.6 percent, and 3.6 percent in 2017, above the 3.1 percent set by Brussels, the paper said.
The figures could be changed before Friday, when the government plans to send its 2017 budget figures to Brussels, Expansion said.
No one in the Spanish government was immediately available for comment.
Spain's acting government, which has taken on a caretaker role since inconclusive elections in December and June, has been forced to roll over this year's budget for next year as it does not have the authority to draft a new plan.
The country has struggled to control its public accounts since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, unnerving investors during the worst of the downturn and facing potential fines from Brussels.
The government passed temporary corporate tax tweaks this year to raise an extra 8 billion euros ($9 billion) in an effort to meet this year's deficit target.
Spain should be careful what numbers it puts into the budget plan because the quality of its assumptions in the past has been poor, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Alison Williams)