Swiss revenues exceed government forecasts
Switzerland's federal finances are looking better than expected. Overall revenue in the first six months of this year increased, but it is not yet clear if this will ease the projected annual deficit.
The federal authorities took in SFr26 billion in revenues in the first half of 2000 compared to SFr21 billion in the first six months of 1999, according to the finance ministry.
Total revenue for this year is expected at SFr42 billion. But the finance ministry said it is too early to tell whether the stronger figures will affect this year's projected federal deficit of SFr1.8 billion.
The increase in federal tax receipts for the first half of 2000 was attributed to higher amounts paid by companies, while a rise in stamp duty income was caused by the upward trend in the markets. Revenue from telecommunications franchises also increased.
The healthier figures will come as welcome news to the Swiss government which is seeking to cut the federal deficit, analysts say.
Overall, Switzerland is still very much in the red. The total deficit run up by the federal, cantonal and communal authorities between 1990 and 1998 amounted to SFr80 billion, the finance ministry said.
Switzerland's public debt at the end of 1998 stood at SFr210 billion.
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