Public administration spends 3.2 bln euros in investment in first 7 months

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The spending made by the public administration for investment totalled 11.4 billion lei (3.2 billion euros) over Jan.-July of this year, more than double the amounts invested in the same period last year, Ziarul financiar economic daily reports on September 9.
 
The personnel expenditure saw a major increase of 34% up to 20 billion lei (5.5 billion euros). The amounts allotted to investment have developed in a balanced manner this year, unlike in the previous years when most of the funds were spent by ministries towards the end of the year, with the forthcoming general elections due on this Nov. 30 having forced the authorities to make investments.
 
Nevertheless, specialists argue, it remains to be seen whether the local authorities will manage to stay away from spending significant amounts at the end of this year as well; they also argue such a behaviour is not to be desired, since it would put pressure on the budget deficit.
 
Part of the spending has been directed towards infrastructure projects, with the National Company of Motorways and National Roads having recorded a deficit of 472.8 million lei (131.3 million euros) in the first seven months, which is slightly above the levels registered in the same period of 2007. The personnel expenditure, that also includes the public sector salaries, recorded a 34% rise over Jan.-July up to 19.9 billion lei (5.52 billion euros).
 
July brought a net average salary gain of 1,308 lei (about 366 euros) into the Romanians’ pockets, marking a nearly 26% rise on last July, show figures supplied by the National Institute of Statistics. The rise, when calculated in euro terms, was just 10% because of the appreciation of the national leu currency to the euro.
 
The spending on goods and services went up by 40%, with the amounts assigned to this end totalling 17.6 billion lei (4.88 billion euros) in the first 7 months.
As regards the revenues, a significant increase was seen in the VAT, with the money collected by the tax having gone up by 54% to 24.3 billion lei (6.75 billion euros); such a development was mostly due to the rise in consumption.
As much as 9.4 billion lei (2.61 billion euros) was collected from the profit tax Jan. through July, up by 31.3% on the same period last year, while the amounts collected from the salary – and income tax climbed by 35.5% to 10.3 billion lei (2.86 billion euros).
 
The social security contributions, which is the most important resource of the general budget, reached 27.5 billion lei (7.63 billion euros) in the seven months, by 27.5% higher than in the same period a year ago, a situation that allowed the government to raise the pensions by 20% from this November rather than from next January as originally planned.
The social security budget posted 600.2 million lei (166.72 million euros) in surplus in the seven months, while the unemployment benefit budget had a surplus worth 375.6 million lei (104.33 million euros).
 
The revenues of the general consolidated budget went up by 35.7% to 96.2 billion lei (26.72 billion euros), accounting for more than 20% of GDP. The total expenditure registered an accelerate rise at 43.9% to 99.3 billion lei (27.58 billion euros). The deficit of the general budget was 0.64% after seven months.
 
The Romanian government approved this year’s second budget revision in July and the general consolidated budget deficit for this year was increased by 842 million lei (233.88 million euros), but stayed at 2.3% of GDP amid an upward revision of the gross domestic product from 440 billion lei (122.22 billion euros) to 475 billion lei (131.94 billion euros).
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