UPDATE 1-Greek first-half budget deficit down 46 pct y/y

* Greece cuts deficit by 46 pct y/y, beating annual target

* Spending falls by 12.8 percent y/y vs target of 5.5 pct

* Revenues rise 7.2 percent, miss 13.7 pct target

* Figures refer to central govt deficit, not general budget

(Adds details, background)

ATHENS, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece almost halved its central
government budget deficit in the first six months of the year as
drastic spending cuts outweighed weaker than expected tax
revenues, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The deficit, which does not include spending by local
government and social security organisations, stood at 9.65
billion euros ($12.16 billion) from 17.9 billion euros in the
same period in 2009, the ministry said in a statement.

“(The deficit) shrank 46 percent compared with an annual
target of 39.5 percent,” the statement said.

Greece managed to cut spending by 12.8 percent, beating an
annual target for a 5.5 percent cut. Public investment was
slashed by 40 percent to 3.7 billion euros.

By contrast, net budget revenues fell short of an annual
13.7 percent increase target, rising by just 7.2 percent.

The figures refer to the central government deficit, not the
general government shortfall measured under euro zone rules, and
therefore do not offer a complete picture.

The general government deficit includes hefty spending areas
such as welfare and pension payments. Greece has pledged to
slash the general government deficit to 8.1 percent of GDP from
13.6l percent last year as part of a 110 billion euro bailout
from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Ingrid Melander
and Stephen Nisbet)

UPDATE 1-Greek first-half budget deficit down 46 pct y/y