Greek Ten-Month State Deficit Beats Target as Spending Drops

Greece beat its deficit target in the first 10 months of 2012 as spending fell 13.2 percent and revenue rose.

The budget gap, which excludes outlays by state-controlled enterprises, narrowed by 42 percent to 12.3 billion euros ($15.7 billion) from 21.1 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, preliminary figures from the Athens-based Finance Ministry showed today. The government target was 13.6 billion euros. The primary deficit, which excludes debt-service costs, was 1.2 billion euros versus a goal of 2.4 billion euros.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras earlier today won parliamentary approval for a 2013 budget that aims to unlock bailout funds and avert a financial collapse that could drive the country from the euro.

Net revenue rose 1.4 percent to 41.7 billion euros in the January to October period, exceeding a target of 41.5 billion euros, the ministry said. Spending fell to 54 billion euros from 62.2 billion versus a target of 55.1 billion euros. Greece has revised spending and revenue estimates for the whole of 2012 to align them with targets included in the 2013 budget, according to the ministry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at

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