Sunday, August 3, 2008

Romania govt budget gap at 1.18 pct/GDP in Jan-June

BUCHAREST, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Romania ran a consolidated budget deficit of 1.18 percent of gross domestic product in the first half of the year after a gap of 0.19 percent in the same period a year ago, data by the finance ministry showed.

Data showed the centrist minority government ran a nominal deficit of 5.2 billion lei ($2.3 billion) in January-June.

The European Union newcomer is targeting a deficit of 2.3 percent of GDP for the end of this year.

Romania ended 2007 with a fiscal deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP under local accounting standards -- 2.6 percent according to EU standards -- after running surpluses for the first 10 months of the year.

Revenues for the first six months of 2008 totalled 80.2 billion lei, or 18.2 percent of GDP, while spending reached 85.3 billion, data showed.

Romania, which revised this year's budget twice this year, has been repeatedly criticised for unpredictable spending and insufficient transparency in its public finances.

Market watchers say the government's pro-cyclical fiscal policies hinder the central bank's efforts to curb resurgent inflation.

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