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Serbia's 11-Month Fiscal Gap Hits 161.29 Billion Dinars

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Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s fiscal gap reached 161.29 billion dinars ($1.85 billion) at the end of November, equivalent to about 80 percent of the full-year deficit target.

The shortfall, calculated according to International Monetary Fund standards, rose 13.4 billion dinars in November, when both spending and revenue collection returned to “normality” after some distortions in October, the month of quarterly payment of sales tax and excise duties, the Belgrade-based Finance Ministry said on its website today. The government targets a full-year gap of 203.6 billion dinars.

Total November monthly spending dropped 18.8 percent to 77.9 billion dinars as the government lowered payments for subsidies and commodity purchases, while revenue collection declined by a third to 64.5 billion dinars.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s Cabinet, in office since July, plans to cut the deficit to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 from 6.7 percent this year and balance the budget in 2016.

The government has yet to convince the IMF that it’s able to adhere to the budgeted fiscal targets and is scheduled to meet the lender next spring for a second round of talks on a new loan program.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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