June 23. 2024. 12:50

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Austria recorded lower deficit, spent more than expected in 2022

The pandemic and the ensuing energy and inflation crisis resulted in government expenditure for 2022 is higher and the deficit lower than initially foreseen in the budget proposal, APA reported.

In total, the government spent €111.3 billion in 2022, with expenditures €3.9 billion higher than originally planned in the budget forecast.

According to the Finance Ministry, this is mainly due to additional expenditures related to the pandemic, the fight against the energy and inflation crisis, and higher interest payments.

“The past year was also very challenging from a budgetary point of view. The COVID-19 crisis, the energy crisis and the associated high inflation have led to a burden for the population,” said Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) in a written statement on Wednesday, APA reported.

The crisis management measures would have put a “heavy burden on the national budget”, he added.

According to the “2022 preliminary budget results” that are now available, the COVID-19 crisis accounted for about €3.4 billion in additional expenditure, while the energy and inflation crisis accounted for about €2.2 billion.

The sharp rise in refinancing costs due to interest rate dynamics led to additional payments worth €1.7 billion. At the same time, mainly due to the economic situation, a significant improvement in payments was achieved compared to the budget.

The provisional budget deficit of the government amounted to €20.8 billion in 2022 (not €23.1 billion as expected in the estimate). Compared to 2021, the deficit nevertheless increased by €2.8 billion.

(Chiara Swaton | EURACTIV.de)