September 6, 2018 / 12:21 PM / in 8 months

Irish PM flags possible budget surplus next year

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives at a European People's Party (EPP) meeting ahead of the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

GALWAY, Ireland (Reuters) - Ireland will aim to broadly balance the state’s finances in next month’s budget for 2019 “with a view to moving into surplus next year”, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday amid pressure to start running surpluses sooner.

Dublin is currently targeting a budget deficit of 0.1 percent next year before moving to a surplus in 2020 but the head of the central bank has told the government it should be running a surplus now given the booming economic growth.

“When it comes to this year’s budget, our first priority will be to ensure it is broadly balanced, with a view to moving into surplus next year,” Varadkar said in a speech at a meeting of his Fine Gael party.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams

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