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Dec 30, 2007 12:06 EEST
December 30 (SeeNews) - Macedonia's parliament on Sunday adopted the budget bill for next year with a deficit equivalent to 1.5% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP), up from a 1.0% gap planned for the current year.
The budget gap for next year was set at 5.540 billion denars ($131.9 million/89.6 million euro). Budget revenue is projected at 128.740 billion denars and spending at 134.280 billion denars.
The government is targeting real economic growth of 6.0% in the budget bill for next year, same as the growth rate planned for 2007. The 2007 GDP is projected at 325.194 billion denars.
The country’s economy grew by a nominal 4.2% on the year in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest data available. Macedonia's economic growth slowed to a revised nominal 3.1% last year from 5.2% in 2005.
The average annual inflation in 2008 is projected at 2.5% to 3.0%. This compares with inflation of 3.0% projected for 2007 and 3.3% inflation recorded in 2006.
The budget bill, proposed by the government in November, was endorsed in a 59-23 vote in the 120-seat parliament.
The conservative coalition cabinet in Skopje dominated by the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party introduced flat income and corporate taxes of 12% from this year and will lower them to 10% from 2008 in a bid to attract more foreign investment and reduce tax evasion. The flat tax rate replaced a corporate tax of 15% and personal income tax ranging from 15% to 24%.
(1 euro = 61.8408 Macedonian denars)
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