UPDATE 1-Greek Jan-Apr govt deficit narrows 41.8 pct y/y

* Central government deficit narrows to 6.28 bln euros

* Net budget revenues up 10 pct

* Government spending before debt payments down 8.7 pct

(Adds economist comment, fixes spelling in bullet point)

ATHENS, May 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece’s central government
deficit narrowed by 41.8 percent in the first four months of
2010, the finance ministry said on Monday, boding well for the
debt-laden country’s goal to slash its budget gap this year.

The central government shortfall dipped to 6.283 billion
euros ($8.43 billion) from 10.791 billion in the same period
last year, preliminary figures showed.

Debt-laden Greece has pledged to slash its budget deficit by
5.5 percentage points to 8.1 percent of gross domestic product
(GDP) this year, adopting tough austerity measures to qualify
for a 110 billion euro bailout by euro zone peers and the
International Monetary Fund.

“The government seems to be on track to meet its deficit cut
targets,” said Nikos Magginas, an economist with the National
Bank of Greece.

Net revenues rose by 10 percent, partly helped by a
value-added tax (VAT) increase announced in March. Net spending
before debt payments declined by 8.7 percent, more than the
government’s 4.4 percent target.

The figures do not contain local government and social
security budgets, which are included in deficit figures the
country must submit to the European Union.

The improvement in finances was also reflected in central
bank data released separately on Monday, showing the
government’s net borrowing requirement at 7.7 billion euros, 28
percent lower than in the same period last year.

Greece announced a new round of tax increases and public
sector pay cuts last week to help it meet its ambitious deficit
targets. But austerity measures will dampen economic activity,
with GDP seen contracting by 4 percent this year, according to
government estimates.

Industrial production shrank by 3.7 percent year-on-year in
March, compared with 9.2 percent in February, Greece’s
statistics agency announced on Monday.
Stock Report

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou)

UPDATE 1-Greek Jan-Apr govt deficit narrows 41.8 pct y/y