November 15, 2017 / 12:05 PM / a year ago

Slovenia erases its budget deficit as tax inflows rise

LJUBLJANA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Slovenian central government budget income increased by 7 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year, erasing the budget deficit, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.

The rise was mainly in higher tax inflows and reached 7.3 billion euros ($8.64 billion), creating a budget surplus of 14.9 million euros. That compared with a deficit of 535 million a year ago.

The ministry said budget spending was down by 1 percent, partly due to lower interest rate payments on sovereign debt.

Slovenia, which narrowly avoided an international bailout for its banks in 2013, returned to growth a year later. The government expects GDP growth of 4.4 percent this year versus 3.1 in 2016, boosted by higher exports and investments.

It also hopes to reduce the general government deficit — which includes deficits from the national health and pension systems and those of local communities — to below 0.8 percent of GDP this year from 1.9 percent in 2016.

In spite of the deficit reduction public debt this year is expected to rise in nominal terms by some 1.6 percent to 32.2 billion euros.

It will fall, however, when measured as a percentage of GDP to 75.2 percent of GDP versus 78.5 percent in 2016, the ministry said last month. ($1 = 0.8447 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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