Forecast: Budget Deficits Ahead Until 2016
A fresh economic forecast from the Finance Ministry says Estonia will not achieve a budget surplus until 2016 - in conflict with the Cabinet's coalition agreement goal for achieving a budget surplus by 2014 at the latest.
The ministry predicted a budget deficit of 2.6 percent in 2012. That will fall to 1 percent in 2013, 0.6 percent in 2014, and 0.4 percent in 2015, according to the forecast.
"There is nothing to rejoice about from the Finance Ministry's point of view,” Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi told uudised.err.ee.
"I hope this sobers the ministers," Ligi said.
The ministry now predicts economic growth of 1.7 percent for 2012, down from a 3 percent prediction issued in September.
This year's budget deficit is also more pessimistic than was previously expected. But Ligi does not believe there is reason enough yet to consider a negative supplementary budget.
"Everyone understands that sending negative messages wears out the society. I can't constantly tell people that we are awaiting cuts,” said Ligi. "What we are doing is optimizing carrying out several important reforms.”