Altogether, the general government debt ratio will rise 1.7 percentage points to 89.6% of gross domestic product, the government said. Meanwhile, tax revenue is likely to come in 2.6 billion euros less than had been expected at 72.5 billion euros, boosting the forecast budget deficit by 8.1 billion euros to 30.7 billion euros.
“We’re adjusting the budget to secure further resources for healthcare and economic aid,” Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said, adding the move follows budget revisions in neighbouring Germany and Switzerland. ($1 = 0.8345 euros)
“I always said, if more money is needed, there will be more money,” Bluemel said. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
As it stands, Austria is planning broad easing in mid-May, but the government said that these budget changes were needed as the crisis persists. The action comes after Austria’s Wifo institute, which provides forecasts for the government, said in March that in a “lockdown scenario” the country’s GDP in the current year would grow only 1.5%, lower than an estimated 2.3% growth if lockdowns were lifted soon.
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