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The preliminary data and estimates expect for the Consolidated Fiscal Programme (CFP) balance on a cash basis for 2017 to be positive, amounting to BGN 798.6 million, or 0.8% of the projected GDP. The national budget balance reports an improvement in structural terms as compared to the same period of 2016 mainly due to the growth of tax revenues, including from social security and health insurance contributions, while the balance of EU fund accounts has deteriorated this year due to a baseline effect in 2016. It is related to the EU grants reimbursed to Bulgaria at the beginning of 2016 for expenditures incurred at the end of 2015 when was the peak of project payments under the previous 2007 – 2013 programming period.

Compared to the objective set in the estimates to the 2017 State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria Law, the CFP balance reports an improvement by over BGN 2.1 billion in nominal terms. Bulgaria’s strong fiscal performance was also reflected in the annual reports of the international rating agencies, with S&P Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading the country’s ratings.

Key CFP parameters based on preliminary data and estimates:

The 2017 CFP revenues and grants are expected to be BGN 35,240.2 million, or 99.4% of the annual estimates. The performance of tax and non-tax revenues is expected to be 102.8% of the estimates for the year and compared to the previous year, they grow by BGN 2,673.8 million, or by 8.6%. In 2017 grant revenues are lower than in 2016, with execution expected to be 57.2% of the 2017 annual estimates.  

The Consolidated Fiscal Programme expenditures, including the contribution of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU budget, are expected to amount to BGN 34,441.6 million in 2017, which accounts for 93.7% of the annual estimates. The expenditures for 2016 amount to BGN 32,491.4 million. The higher expenditures, as compared to 2016, are mainly due to the greater amount of social security and health insurance payments, the baseline effect of pension expenditures since their increases as from July 2016 and July 2017, the two-step increase in the minimum pension in 2017 (as from July and October), as well as the higher subsidy expenditures and the higher staff costs, including due to the increase in social security contribution expenditures linked to the higher contribution to the Pensions to Persons Pursuant to Article 69 Fund of the Social Insurance Code by 20 pps as against 2016.

The part of Bulgaria’s contribution to the EU budget, as paid from the central budget as of 31.12.2017, amounts to BGN 888.2 million, which complies with the existing legislation in the area of EU own resources, i.e. Council Decision 2014/335/EU on the system of own resources of the European Union, Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 608/2014 of 26 May 2014 laying down implementing measures for the system of own resources of the European Union and Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 609/2014 of 26 May 2014 on the methods and procedure for making available the traditional, VAT and GNI-based own resources and on the measures to meet cash requirements, as amended by Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2016/804 of 17 May 2016.

The statistical data and the Information Bulletin on the Execution of the State Budget and the key Consolidate Fiscal Programme indicators based on the monthly data on cash execution of first-level spending units will be published on the website of the Ministry of Finance at the end of January 2018.

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