Spain revises 2015 deficit estimate down to 5 percent

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government has revised its budget deficit for last year to 5 percent, down from 5.2 percent but still above the level agreed with the European Commission.

Acting Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said Thursday the change was due to new Commission deficit-calculating guidelines.

Spain had agreed to reach a deficit of 4.2 percent of annual economic output as part of its plans to gradually bring down the deficit from an 11.2 percent high in 2009 during its severe economic to within the 3 percent EU limit.

Montoro blames the overspending on Spain's autonomous regions.

The trailing deficit figure comes as political parties struggle to form a government following an inconclusive Dec. 20 election that left the Popular Party in charge of a caretaker government.