Germany sees bigger budget surplus: Spiegel
BERLIN: German finance ministry officials expect a budget surplus of up to 9 billion euros ($9.8 billion) this year, giving the government a bigger buffer to finance the costs of the refugee crisis, Der Spiegel reported on Friday. The ministry had previously expected a budget surplus of around 6 billion euros for Europe’s biggest economy, the magazine said. The extra money will be funneled into a reserve to pay for the costs of coping with the refugee crisis. A spokeswoman for the finance ministry declined to comment on the report. The magazine said the surplus was down to a rising tax intake. Record-high employment and high wages have boosted revenue from income tax, while strong private consumption has pushed up receipts from value added tax. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said last month he aims for Germany to have a balanced budget in 2015 for the second consecutive year.