September 12, 2011 / 10:32 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Greece's Jan-Aug deficit widens 22 pct

 * 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 
 Net         32.397      30.679      -5.3        30.696
 Spending    43.845      47.399      8.1         47.507
 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)	
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