Spain says very close to meeting 2012 deficit target

MADRID Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:36am EDT

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro said on Tuesday the country's central government was very close to meeting its 2012 deficit target of 4.5 percent of gross domestic product.

The deficit for the central government -- not including the regions or the social security system -- was 3.9 percent of GDP to the end of September, he said in an address to Parliament.

The end-September figure did not include financial transfers from the central government to the regional authorities which were made earlier in the year to help the struggling regions meet debt obligations.

"The central government deficit in September in homogenous terms ... was 3.9 percent (of GDP). This means we are very close to meet our deficit target for all of 2012," Montoro said.

Stripping out extraordinary items, such as the early transfers of funds to the regions, the central government deficit for the January-August period was 4.26 percent of GDP.

(Reporting By Sarah Morris; Writing by Paul Day)