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Estonian January budget surplus was EEK1.4 bln as income rises

Estonia posted a state budget surplus of 1.4 bln krooni ($116 mln) in January as economic growth, the second-fastest in the EU, boosted state revenue, the Finance Ministry said.

The country ran a surplus of 5.2 billion krooni in 2006, the ministry in Tallinn said on January 10. Income grew 22% last year. The government took in 6.1 billion krooni during the first month of the year, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today. That's 18.6% more than in January, 2006 and equal to 8% of budgeted finance for this year as a whole. The International Monetary Fund said on November 22 that Estonia must plan bigger budget surpluses to help cool economic growth that reached an annual 11.3% in the Q3. Only neighboring Latvia had faster expansion. The IMF noted in a report that as Estonian budget revenue rises, so does spending, implying an expansionary fiscal policy at a time of fast growth. (Bloomberg)