VIENNA, Oct 16 – The Austrian government on Tuesday tweaked higher its budget deficit forecasts for 2012 and 2013, due mostly to extra spending on bailing out the country’s banks.
For this year, the shortfall between spending and income will represent 3.1 percent of gross domestic product, up from an earlier projection of 3.0 percent, according to a draft budget debated in parliament Tuesday.
For next year, Austria’s deficit is expected to be 2.3 percent of GDP, up from the government’s previous forecast of 2.1 percent, comfortably below the EU ceiling of three percent, however.
Austria’s total debt will meanwhile hit a new record of 75.4 percent of GDP but the government forecasts it will fall in 2014 and hit 70.8 percent in 2016.
“Our strategy so far has shown itself to be correct. With the 2013 budget we will build on this success and steadily reduce … the deficit,” Finance Minister Maria Fekter said in parliament.