Greece says deficit-cutting effort beating targets

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2012 1:00 PM
Greece says deficit-cutting effort beating targets

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's Finance Ministry says it beat deficit-busting targets in the first half of the year, despite lower than expected tax revenues.

A ministry statement says the crisis-mired country's budget deficit hit €12.5 billion ($15.2 billion) in January-June, lower than the target of €14.9 billion ($18.2 billion). It said the primary deficit — which excludes the cost of servicing Greece's massive debts — was €3.3 billion, better than the targeted €5.3 billion.

Friday's statement said revenues fell €1.5 billion short of the €24.7 billion target. It attributed this mainly to extensions in income tax declaration deadlines.

Greece wants to cut its deficit to 7.3 percent of annual output this year, from 9.1 percent last year. The deficit reached a staggering 15.8 percent of GDP in 2009.