Slovenian budget deficit soars first seven months of 2020

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia’s budget deficit rose to 2.2 billion euros ($2.63 billion) in the first seven months of 2020, from 27.4 million euros a year ago, partly due to a lower tax take as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The Slovenian finance ministry said on Monday the country’s budget inflow fell by 12.3% year-on-year during the period, while budget spending increased by 25.2% as the government gave financial aid to people and companies hit by the pandemic.

Slovenia, which in May became the first European country to declare an end to its coronavirus epidemic, expects a budget deficit of 4.2 billion euros or 9.3% of GDP this year versus a surplus of 0.5% in 2019, the ministry had said.

The Slovenian government introduced a general lockdown in the middle of March and started to gradually lift it in the second half of April. Slovenia has so far reported 2,883 coronavirus cases and 133 deaths.

($1 = 0.8378 euros)

Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Alexander Smith