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Serbian 2012 Fiscal Gap of 191.9 Billion Dinars Was Below Target

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Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia’s fiscal deficit reached 191.9 billion dinars ($2.3 billion) in 2012, less than the government’s target, even as December’s shortfall was the second-highest monthly gap of the year.

The gap, calculated according to International Monetary Fund standards, rose 30.6 billion dinars last month, with government spending at a record 99.7 billion dinars because of subsidy payments and aid to pensioners, the Finance Ministry, based in the capital, Belgrade, said today on its website.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s five-month-old Cabinet had targeted a gap of 203.6 billion dinars or 6.7 percent of gross domestic product. The government wants to narrow the deficit to 3.6 percent this year and balance the budget in 2016.

The IMF will examine Serbia’s 2012 budget performance and the early implementation of fiscal-consolidation measures in 2013 before discussing a new loan deal for the Balkan nation in the spring, Bogdan Lissovolik, its resident representative, said today in Belgrade. The government wants a precautionary loan deal with the Washington-based lender, he said.

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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