By Stelios Orphanides
The government generated a fiscal surplus of €200.9m in the first quarter of 2017 on a cash basis compared to a surplus of €146.3m in the respective quarter of 2016 on increased revenue, the statistical service said.
Total revenue in January to March rose by €72m in a year to below €1.7bn while spending rose by €3m to below €1.5bn, Cystat said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The rise in revenue was on an €89m increase in indirect taxes, including €62m in value added tax, and €27m in social security contributions, which more than offset a €3m drop in direct tax revenue and a decline in non-tax revenue by €46m, Cystat said. Grants rose by €5m.
Wages and salaries rose in the first quarter by €8m, spending on goods and services by €14m, while pensions and current transfers rose by €4m each, Cystat said. Social security payments dropped by €11m and subsidies by €28m.
The first quarter primary balance, which is the difference between total revenue and spending excluding interest payments – which fell by €1m to €98.2m– rose to €295.4m from €237.3m a year before, Cystat said.