SPAIN'S central government budget deficit totalled 8.9 billion euros in March, the economy ministry said yesterday.
The shortfall, which does not include the balances of the social security system or provincial governments, is equivalent to 0.85 percent of gross domestic product and comes after a surplus of 3.27 billion euros in February. Finance Secretary Carlos Ocaña said that tax income grew by 0.8 percent in the first quarter. “It is the first time in two years that the tax take has grown in the first quarter of the year after two years of negative levels,“ he said.

The central government deficit stood at 99.785 billion euros, or 9.49 percent of GDP in 2009, and swelled from a deficit of 30.572 billion euros or 2.81 percent of GDP in 2008.