January 9, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 2 months ago

German federal budget had surplus of 3.7 billion euros in 2017 - newspaper

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German federal budget had a larger-than-expected surplus of 3.7 billion euros (3.26 billion pounds) at the end of 2017, German newspaper Handelsblatt said on Tuesday, adding those funds were due to be put aside for asylum seekers for a future government to use.

Handelsblatt did not cite its source for the information.

It said an additional 6.7 billion euros from a reserve for asylum seekers had, contrary to plans, not been used so that money was also available for use in coming years. That means the government has 10.4 billion euros more to spend than planned.

The German Finance Ministry declined to comment on the figures but said it is due to give details of its 2017 finances on Friday.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Tom Koerkemeier; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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