Bulgaria's Finance Ministry has announced that the country's consolidated budget recorded a higher-than-forecast 0.3% of GDP surplus at the end of March. The 257.1m leva is in contrast to the deficit of 105.5m leva just one month earlier, and the consolidated budget deficit of 874m leva at the same period last year.

It's the first time in six years that a surplus has been recorded in the first quarter, and based on preliminary data, the ministry now expects the surplus to increase to more than 1bn leva for the end of April.

The first quarter 2015 surplus is comprised of 156.2m leva under the national budget and 100.9m leva under EU funds.

In a statement, the finance ministry attributed the healthy state of accounts to higher revenues primarily from indirect tax (up 14.2% year-on-year), social security and health insurance contributions.

TMF Group Bulgaria Managing Director, Margarita Vateva said: "Bulgaria's healthy budget position is another tick in the box for a country very well positioned for the development of regional business in Central and Eastern Europe. It also has relatively low labour costs compared to all EU countries, and low taxes."

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