* Jan-Aug central government budget gap up 22 pct y/y
* Budget gap narrower than interim target
* Net budget revenues down 5.3 pct y/y (Adds details, background)
ATHENS, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Greece's central government deficit widened 22 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2011 but came in below a revised interim target, the finance ministry said on Monday.
Greece is scrambling to meet fiscal targets set by its international lenders under a bailout plan to continue to receive funding and avoid default. On Sunday it announced a plan to slap a new levy on property to shore up revenues.
Finance ministry data showed that the January-August budget gap grew to 18.101 billion euros ($24.82 billion) from 14.813 billion in the same period last year.
But the budget gap was narrower than a revised, indicative target of 18.974 billion euros for the first eight months of the year, the ministry said.
The data refer to the state budget deficit, which excludes local authorities and social security spending. They also do not coincide with the general government shortfall, the benchmark for the EU's assessment of Greece's economic policy programme.
Net budget revenues were down 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year, which the ministry attributed mainly to a deeper-than-expected recession.
On Saturday, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the economy would contract by more than 5.0 percent in 2011, its third straight year of recession, hurt by austerity policies to shore up public finances.
Jan-Aug Jan-Aug Change (%) 8-month
2010 2011 2011
target Net 32.397 30.679 -5.3 30.696 revenue Spending 43.845 47.399 8.1 47.507 Public Investment revenue 1.309 1.877 43.4 1.750 outlays 4.675 3.259 -30.3 3.913 Deficit 14.813 18.101 22.2 18.974 (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)