ΑΤΗΕΝS — The Greek state budget recorded a primary deficit of 6.21 billion euros in the January-April period this year, up from a budget target for a shortfall of 5.24 billion, the finance ministry said in a report on Monday. More specifically, tax revenue was up 215 million euros in April, boosted by a dividend payment of 470.5 million euros by the Bank of Greece. Excluding this, tax revenue was down 7.9 pct from budget targets in April.
Commenting on budget execution data, Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis said that the state budget had not taken into account the extension of lockdowns in 2021 "therefore this reduction is expected and relatively limited, bearing in mind the extent of additional restrictive measures taken to deal with the pandemic. E-transaction data show that the economy has already begun recovering in comparison with the same period last year, thus we expect tax losses related with the lockdowns to stop affecting public revenue in the next few months."
According to provisional budget execution data, on an amended cash basis, the state budget showed a deficit of 8.807 billion euros in the four-month period, up from a budget target for a deficit of 7.768 billion and up from a deficit of 4.072 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2020. The primary result showed a deficit of 6.21 billion euros, up from a budget target for a shortfall of 5.248 billion and a primary deficit of 1.516 billion euros in 2020.
Net revenue was 15.115 billion euros, down 3.1 pct from budget targets, while regular budget revenue was 16.458 billion euros, down 2.6 pct from targets. Tax revenue was 13.974 billion euros, down 1.0 pct from targets, while tax returns totaled 1.343 billion euros, up 46 million from targets and Public Investment Programm revenue was 1.,343 billion euros, down 344 million from targets.
State budget spending totaled 23.922 billion euros in January-April, up 2.4 pct from targets. Public Investment Programme spending grew by 1.605 billion euros, boosted by state support measures. Budget spending was up by 5.75 billion euros in Jan-April compared with the same period last year.
In April, state budget revenue was 3.607 billion euros, up 181 million from monthly targets, while regular budget revenue was 3.967 billion, up 291 million from targets. Tax revenue was 3.464 billion euros, up 6.6 pct from monthly targets, tax returns totaled 360 million euros, up 110 million from targets, while Public Investment Programme revenue was 231 million euros, down 41 million from targets.