By Stelios Orphanides
The general government generated in the first ten months of the year a fiscal surplus on a cash basis of €498m compared to a €138.9m surplus in the respective period of 2016, the finance ministry said.
The increased surplus was mainly on an increase in revenue by €475m to €5.7bn, which more than offset an increase in spending by €82m to €5.3bn, the finance ministry said. Revenue rose mainly on a €255m rise in indirect taxes, including €187m from value added tax (VAT). The increase in spending was mainly on a €47m increase in wages and salaries and €42m in interest payments, as a result of bond buybacks.
The primary surplus, which excludes the government’s cost of borrowing, rose to €908m in the January to October from €525.7m a year before, the ministry said.