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Lebanon’s budget deficit narrowed to 27 billion Lebanese pounds ($18 million) for January as the government spent less on subsidizing the country’s main electricity generating power company.

The deficit shrank from 453 billion pounds in the same period last year, according to an e-mailed report from the Ministry of Finance. The government has yet to pass a budget for 2010.

The first month’s deficit accounted for 2.3 percent of expenditures which reached 1.16 trillion pounds. Government spending decreased due to lower allocations for the government- run power company Electricite du Liban, which provides more than 90 percent of the country’s electricity.

The government spent 320.9 billion pounds less in the first month on EDL as compared with the same period in 2009.

Lebanon had a budget deficit last year of 4.46 trillion pounds and 4.4 trillion pounds in 2008, averaging about 9.7 percent of gross domestic product. BW

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