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Serbia Budget Deficit Shrinks to 6.99 Billion Dinars in January

Serbia’s fiscal deficit was 6.99 billion dinars ($84 million) in January as spending remained in line with the budget plan and revenue bolstered by higher proceeds from sales tax and excise duty.

The gap, calculated according to International Monetary Fund standards, was 32 percent lower than a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said on its website at the weekend. The government spent 73.4 billion dinars, mainly for public wages and pension payments, while revenue for the month totaled 66.4 billion dinars, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s seven-month-old Cabinet targets this year’s budget gap of 121.9 billion dinars or 3.3 percent of gross domestic product.

Serbia wants a precautionary loan deal with the IMF and needs to convince the Washington-based lender fiscal consolidation measures remain on track. The IMF will examine Serbia’s 2012 budget and the implementation of fiscal-consolidation measures in 2013 before discussing a new loan.

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