Athens, January 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The stigma of the economy and the budget figures which show that 2015, despite the economic and political adventure of the country, closed with a small primary surplus gives in talks at Davos the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
According to data released by the Maximos Mansion, the 2015 budget presents the following picture:
Recovery of revenue
Specifically, the estimate for 2015 according to the budget of 2016 for the total tax revenue was EUR 42.762 bn and the new assessment today is EUR 43.479 bn, that is EUR 717 mln over the budget target.
* In terms of the total non-tax revenue (receipts from EU and other non-tax revenues), the target according to the budget 2016 was EUR 3.550 bn and the new estimate is EUR 3,993 bn, that is EUR 443 mln above the target.
The sum leads to outperformance of revenue on a cash basis amounting to EUR 1.942 mln.
* As regards the tax credits, the first estimate was EUR 3,370 mln and the new assessment today is EUR 2.921 mln, therefore resulting in the saving of EUR 449 mln.
According to forecasts of the Ministry of Finance, despite the fact that 2015 was a difficult year due to the financial asphyxiation and capital controls, for the first time in years, it will close with the country not only having achieved its goals, but with a reasonable prediction that the year might even close with a primary surplus.
Return to growth
Now attention turns to the growth of the economy which shows the following signs:
-Increase of the industrial production index: Based on data from Eurostat, Greece recorded record growth in November at 3.3%, the largest in the Eurozone.
-Increase of exports: Based on the data of ELSTAT, in the first 11 months of 2015, the country’s exports reached EUR 16.66 bn net worth. This is a record performance since the country joined the euro.
It is note that in a joint report in July the European Commission and the ECB estimated that for 2015 recession would range between 2-4%. The data of the third quarter issued by Eurostat, however, show a recession of 0.9%, ie much lower than expected. Currently available data indicate that 2015 will close with no recession and is therefore reasonable to expect that 2016 will end with growth and what’s more not marginal.
This is attributed to the complete execution of the public investment program (100%) of 2015, which equals to the channeling of EUR 6.4 bn into the real economy, of which EUR 5 bn in the last quarter.
The inflow of EU funds of EUR 2.3 bn (revenue for the budget) for the NSRF 2007-2013, ie EUR, that is EUR 250 mln more than what was foreseen in the 2015 budget that was passed by the previous government.
In 2016 the funds that will be channeled into the real economy will be EUR 8 bn of which:
* EUR 6.75 bn from the public investment programme (EUR 6 billion Co-funded part and EUR 750 mln National – an increase of 5,5% compared to 2015).
* EUR 1.25 bn from other financial tools through international financial institutions, public-private partnerships etc.