Slovenia Posts 1% General Surplus, Public Debt 67.7% of GDP

By , 01 Oct 2019, 09:34 AM Politics
Slovenia Posts 1% General Surplus, Public Debt 67.7% of GDP JL Flanner

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STA, 30 September 2019 - Slovenia posted a general government surplus of EUR 124 million or 1% of GDP in the second quarter of the year but revenue growth was outpaced by growth in expenditure in a first sign of economic slowdown. Consolidated general government gross debt at the end of 2nd quarter amounted to EUR 31.803 billion or 67.7% of GDP.

In absolute figures, the state of government finance worsened slightly compared to the second quarter of 2018, with the government surplus decreasing by EUR 7 million, the Statistics Office reported.

"The state of public finance has already reflected in a slow-down in growth," Nina Stražišar from the office told reporters on Monday, pointing to the slowed growth in revenue.

At EUR 5.331 billion, general government revenue increased by 4.6% year-on-year, as expenditure expanded by 4.8% to EUR 5.207 billion. The growth in expenditure outpaced the growth in revenue for the second straight quarter.

Revenue from social contributions rose by 7.2% to EUR 128 million, and revenue from taxes on production and imports was up by 2% to EUR 33 million.

Revenue income from current taxes on income and wealth decreased by 1.4%, while revenue from capital transfers grew by 65.6% to EUR 27 million.

General government expenditure has been increasing since the first quarter of 2017. In the second quarter it was up due to a 22.8% increase in gross fixed capital formation, a 7.4% increase in the public wage bill, and a 4.9% increase in welfare payments.

The cost of debt servicing continued to decrease with interest expenditure decreasing by 17.1% from the the second quarter of 2018.

The surplus for the first half of the year amounted to EUR 61 million or 0.3 of GDP, which compares to EUR 127 million or 0.6% of GDP a year ago.

By the end of the year, the surplus is projected to increase to EUR 391 million or 0.8% of GDP.

Consolidated general government gross debt increased by EUR 232 million year-on-year to EUR 31.803 billion or 67.7% of GDP. Debt in short term loans and short term debt securities was up the most.

As a proportion of GDP, the debt decreased by 2.7 percentage points from December 2018, which Stražišar attributed to the economic growth.

National government debt was estimated at EUR 31.227 billion (66.5% of GDP) and local government debt at EUR 794 million (1.7% of GDP). Social security fund debt remained at EUR 0.5 million.

The Finance Ministry expects the public debt to decrease further to 66.3% of GDP by the end of the year.

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