Germany posts budget surplus for year's first half

Germany posts 0.6 percent budget surplus in year's first half as government's tax take rises

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Official data show that Germany had a budget surplus of 0.6 percent of GDP in this year's first half as rising tax income boosted government finances.

The Federal Statistical Office said Friday that Germany, Europe's biggest economy, ran a surplus of 8.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) in the January-June period. That's a slightly better performance than in the first half of 2012, when Germany posted its first six-month surplus in over three years.

The government's tax take totaled 321.4 billion euros, up 3.8 percent on the previous year as low unemployment helped push up income tax payments.

For the whole of last year, Germany had a surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP. That contrasts with deficits well above the official EU limit of 3 percent in several other eurozone countries.

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