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Bulgaria expects fiscal surplus of 0.4% of GDP by end-November

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SOFIA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Bulgaria expects a fiscal surplus of 570 million levs ($328.72 million) in the first 11 months of the year, equal to 0.4% of economic output, as the economy recovers and tax collection improves, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The Balkan country is targeting a fiscal deficit of 3.6% of GDP this year due to measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus after ending 2020 with a shortfall of 4%. The finance ministry expects economic growth of 4% this year.

The ministry expects spending to increase significantly in the last month of the year due to traditionally higher capital expenditure and funds needed to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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In the first 10 months of 2021, the country registered a fiscal surplus of 727 million levs, or 0.6% of forecast economic output for the year, the ministry said in a statement.

The finance ministry forecast government revenues to have increased by 8.1 billion levs to 47.8 billion levs at the end of November from a year ago, mainly because of increased tax payments.

It forecast expenditures to have jumped to 47.2 billion levs from 39.9 billion levs on an annual basis through November due to coronavirus-related spending for support of the health system, struggling businesses and bonuses for pensioners.

Fiscal reserves, held under a currency regime that pegs the lev to the euro, were 11 billion levs by the end of October, data showed.

($1 = 1.7340 leva)

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Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by David Gregorio

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