Ireland collected 0.6% more tax than expected in the first two months of the year, helping to lift its exchequer surplus to almost double the level of a year ago, the finance ministry said on Thursday.
Ireland's economy has been the best performing in the European Union for the past three years, swelling the tax take in the process even as the government gradually unwinds some of the tax increases introduced during the financial crisis.
The finance ministry has forecast that tax revenues will grow by 5.2% for 2017 and that Ireland's budget deficit will fall to 0.4% of gross domestic product as it moves towards its first balanced budget in a decade.
Ireland collected 4.1% more tax in the first two months of the year than it did in the same period last year, driven by higher than expected value-added tax receipts, the ministry said.
The exchequer recorded a 587 million-euro surplus to the end of February, representing a 277 million-euro improvement on the year, which the finance ministry said was primarily due to the increased tax take. (Reuters)