According to preliminary data, the state budget deficit in the first three months of 2021 was EUR 1,291 million, which is almost half of the projected deficit for the whole of 2021. Not counting the direct effect of COVID measures, the deficit amounts to EUR 432 million. While a deficit increase in the first quarter is not uncommon, mostly due to interest payments, it was approximately two times higher in the first three months of 2021 than in the same period last year.
The March cost of COVID measures with a direct effect on the state budget balance was EUR 332 million. In the first three months of 2021, the total direct effect of COVID measures was EUR 869 million, mostly on the expenditure side (EUR 854 million).
The total direct effect of COVID measures since March 2020 amounts to EUR 3,293 million, and the total cost of such measures, taking into account the potential effect of guarantees, liquidity loans and deferred credit payments on the state budget results, stands at EUR 3,831 million.
According to preliminary data, 55.5 thousand employees were involved in job retention measures in January 2021, which is 7.1% of all employees, the lowest percentage since the beginning of the second wave of the epidemic last October. Basic income for January was disbursed to 31,5 thousand self-employed people, which is around 40% of all the self-employed, while this number stood at around 65% in the spring of last year.