The Government estimates a surplus smaller than what was initially expected, as the pace of revenue growth has been slowed down. The General Accounting Office insists on the projection recorded in the preliminary draft budget for a primary surplus of 3.7% of GDP, although the Commission appears more optimistic, setting the bar at 3.8%. These figures indicate a budgetary range between 350 and 550 million euros.
It is worth noting that the picture for the October revenues will be clearer in the first budget execution announcements of the Ministry of Finance, towards the end of the week. However, a government official rushed to lower the expectations regarding the size of the surplus, which had grown stronger after Standard and Poor’s estimates for a 4.3% of GDP this year.
If this were to be confirmed, it would lead to a surplus of 1.5 billion euros, producing a dividend of even 1 billion euros.
A source from the Ministry of Finance comments that such estimates are out of the question. The latest figures for the 2018 primary balance showed a surplus smaller by one tenth, part of which is due to better commissioning towards the banks. The change has a “carry over” this year, leading to a loss in terms of surplus of around € 50m, according to reports.
The Ministry of Finance in the coming days will proceed to the final surplus accounts, since any decisions regarding the distribution of dividend will be incorporated into the 2020 budget, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament on November 20th.
Public revenue growth slowed in October, with the VAT and ENFIA collections, after last summer’s tax cuts, having a significant impact on the surplus size.
Responsible sources talk about the October targets being met, yet without the spectacular overruns of previous months, pointing towards the ENFIA and VAT collections, which took on a large part of the € 3 billion surplus at the end of September. /ibna