zdravko marić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

In the first six months of 2016, Croatia's budget deficit came to HRK 2.4 billion, making up 0.7 % of GDP, and falling by 5.1 billion kuna compared to H1 2015, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said at a news conference in Zagreb on Friday. 

The deficit in H1 2016 was equivalent to a third of the budget deficit in 2015, Maric said and added that it was encouraging that Croatia would manage to reach the targeted deficit in 2016.

The overall state revenues in H1 2016 were HRK 56.3 billion, rising by 10.5% as against the corresponding period in 2015. The total expenditures went up by 0.4% to HRK 58.6 billion in H1 2016. The primary surplus in the said period amounted to 3 billion kuna or 0.9% of GDP.

"We can expect good news from the European Commission and from ratings agencies provided that a quality budget for 2017 is put forward," he said.

The positive trends in the state budget are on the back of macroeconomic indicators showing better-than-expected results such as a 2.7% rise in the country's GDP in Q1, a 5.4% rise in industrial output over the first five months, growing consumption (+3.4%) and positive indicators in the tourism and construction sectors.

All this heralds the possibility of GDP for 2016 exceeding the projected 2 percent rate, according to the minister.

Presenting the preliminary figures about the budget execution in H1 2016, Maric said that the rise in revenues could be ascribed to higher tax revenues as well as to better absorption of EU funds.

The collection of taxes increased by 8.1% to HRK 34.3 billion. The contribution to the budget revenues from Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues increased by 1% to HRK 20.5 billion.

Out of the planned collection of 1.6 billion kuna from privatisation, 400 million was realised through the sale of state-owned real estate, the Koncar company's shares and several hotel companies.

As for budget expenditures, outlays for pensions increased by 146.6 million to 18.4 billion kuna.

The minister, however, warned that 2017 would be more challenging with a sizeable foreign debt redemption, with the maturity of two domestic bonds in the amount of HRK 9.5 billion plus an international bond worth 1.5 billion dollars, and a bond in the amount of a billion euros for the motorway sector.

(EUR 1 = HRK 7.5)

Related stories

Budget revenues planned at HRK 113b, expenditures at HRK 120.4b

PM says 2016 budget could favourably impact credit rating

FinMin: Budget almost balanced, expenditures under control

Budget gap to be 2.2% of projected GDP

Government adopts draft 2016 budget

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.