Moldova sets 2024 budget with deficit at 4.6% of GDP

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- Moldova's budget for 2024 envisages a deficit at 4.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 5.9% this year.

According to the document, signed by the president and published on the official website on Friday, the budget is based on a GDP growth forecast of 3.5% in 2024, and annual inflation at 5%. The state debt is expected to amount to 36.7% of GDP.

Budget revenues are put at 66.6 billion Moldovan lei ($3.9 billion), with expenditures at 82.2 billion lei. No major increase in military spending is planned, following a 63% rise in the 2023 budget.

Finance Minister Petru Rotaru said earlier during parliamentary hearings that even though Moldova continued to face numerous crises in conditions of limited resources, financing social needs would remain a priority, with planned raises in teachers' salaries and scholarships for students.

The document was supported by the majority of parliamentarians from the governing PAS party. The opposition did not participate in voting, complaining that not enough financing was planned for the development of the economy and capital investments.

In 2022, Moldova's economy was seriously affected by the war in neighbouring Ukraine. Annual inflation jumped to 28.74% as energy prices soared and tens of thousands poured over the border, hurting the living standards of an already impoverished population.

The World Bank expects Moldova's GDP to grow by 1.8% this year and inflation to slow to about 5% by the end of 2023.

($1 = 17.2500 Moldovan lei)


(Reporting by Alexander Tanas
Writing by Yuliia Dysa
Editjng by Mark Potter)

((Yuliia.Dysa@thomsonreuters.com;))

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