Armenian govt approves 2015 budget with 2.3% of GDP deficit

YEREVAN. Sept 25 (Interfax) – The Armenian government on Thursday approved a 2015 budget draft with real GDP growth of 4.1% and a budget deficit of 114.1 billion dram, or 2.34% of GDP.

First Deputy Finance Minister Pavel Safaryan presented the draft budget, which shows revenue at 24.33% of GDP at 1.18 trillion dram, up 4.3% on the 2014 budget, and spending at 26.68% of GDP at 1.3 trillion dram, up 4.2%.

Tax will make up 95.5% of revenue, or 23.24% of GDP, which is the same level as 2014. The government is not planning to increase the tax burden, he said.

Safaryan said 21.4% of spending would go to defense, 47.9% to the social and cultural sector, 9.1% to the economic sector and 5.7% to government debt servicing.

In nominal terms, GDP is projected at 4.87 billion dram. The budget forecasts 3.7% industrial output growth and 4.2% growth in agriculture. Construction is projected to grow 2% and services – 4.5%. Average annual inflation is forecast at 4%. Government debt is expected to reach $4.95 billion at the end of 2015, including foreign debt of $4.13 billion.

The budget is based on an exchange rate of 411.26 dram/$1.

The official exchange rate on September 25 stood at 406.8 dram/$1.

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