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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budget Sees H1 Surplus Of $2.1Bln

The federal budget surplus widened to 1.6 percent of gross domestic product in the first half of 2001 from 1.5 percent in the first quarter as the economy and prices grew faster than expected, the government said Thursday.

Russia, which is aiming for a balanced budget this year, ran a surplus of 62.8 billion rubles ($2.14 billion) in the first six months of this year, the government said in a statement on its web site www.pravitelstvo.gov.ru.

The primary surplus, calculated before debt payments, amounted to 189.0 billion rubles, or 4.7 percent of GDP from January to June.

First-half budget revenues exceeded the period's target by 7.8 percent to rise to 713.1 billion rubles, or 17.6 percent of GDP, compared with 507.6 billion rubles in the first half of 2000. Spending amounted to 650.3 billion rubles. The government said revenue rose on the back of higher-than-expected GDP and inflation growth, increased firms' profits, high world oil prices and improved tax collection.

Consumer prices rose 12.7 percent compared with 9.5 percent in the same period a year ago and the original annual inflation forecast of 12 percent, which was the basis for the 2001 budget.

The government revised the 2001 annual inflation forecast to 16 percent to 18 percent. Tax revenue, which contributed 92.8 percent to revenue, was 661.8 billion rubles in the first half of 2001. The government spent 126.2 billion rubles on foreign debt servicing, while defense spending hit 106.7 billion rubles.