SOFIA May 31 Bulgaria expects a fiscal surplus
of 1.7 percent of gross domestic product at the end of May,
compared with a surplus of 3.1 percent in the same period last
year, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.
Improved tax collection lifted the surplus to 1.6 percent of
GDP in the first four months of the year, putting it in line
with government projections that the country is likely to end
the year with a smaller deficit than the targeted 1.4 percent.
Bulgaria ended 2016 with a surplus of 1.6 percent after
initially targeting a deficit of 2.0 percent, mainly due to
delays in administering EU-backed projects, which reduced
capital spending, while economic growth exceeded forecasts.
Government revenue at the end of April rose 6.8 percent from
a year before to 12 billion levs ($6.90 billion). Spending rose
10.4 billion levs from 9.8 billion a year ago, finance ministry
Fiscal reserves held under a currency regime pegging the lev
to the euro stood at 13.2 billion levs at the end of April.
Bulgaria's economy will grow by 3.3-3.5 percent this year,
up from a previous forecast of 3 percent, Finance Minister
Vladislav Goranov said on the first day after taking the post
four weeks ago.
($1 = 1.7400 leva)
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Stephen Powell)