Stable employment and a healthy economy filled German state coffers in 2013 like never before in a single year. But even though last year's tax revenue hit a record high, the government was not able to make ends meet.
The 2013 tax income of the federal government and the country's 16 states had climbed 3.3 percent compared with the previous year, reaching 570.2 billion euros ($771 billion), the German Finance Ministry announced Friday.
The increase in proceeds from corporations rose was particularly strong last year as they surged by15.2 percent to a total of 197 billion euros, the ministry said in its monthly report.
Income tax revenue also climbed significantly - by 6.1 percent, reaching 158.2 billion euros. In addition, a gain of 1.1 percent was recorded for value added tax (VAT), which rose to 196.9 billion euros, the report showed.
The result was achieved thanks to a healthy labor market with an average of less than 3 million people unemployed last year, as well as weak but steady growth of 0.4 percent in 2013, the ministry said.
Strong start to 2014
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said early economic indicators for Germany made for a good start to the new year. On top of robust private consumption, rising global demand could be expected to contribute to higher export-led growth in Germany, he added.
Schäuble also said that this would provide additional leeway to further consolidate public finances. Despite record tax income, the central government in Berlin ran up a deficit of 22.3 billion euros last year, while regional state governments spent 8.5 billion more than they earned.
uhe/pfd (Reuters, AP, dpa)