By Stelios Orphanides
The government generated a fiscal surplus of €255m on a cash basis in January, compared to €168m in January last year, as the increase in revenue outpaced that of expenditure, the finance ministry said.
The increase in revenue in January was mainly on a €54m increase in value added tax (VAT) revenue to €191m, compared to a year before, while overall indirect tax revenue rose by €52m, to €296m, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Direct tax revenue rose by €44m, to €257m. Total revenue rose in the first month of the year by €119m, to €730m.
Total expenditure rose in January to €479m which is €32m more compared to government spending in January 2017, the ministry said. The higher public expenditure was mainly on a €13m increase in spending on goods and services, to €23m, €8m on interest payments, to €25m, and €7m on wages and salaries, to €135m. The increase was partly offset by a €6m drop in current transfers, to €119m.
The primary surplus, which is the difference between total revenue and spending excluding interest payments, rose to €279m in January, from €185m the previous year, the ministry said.