[BERLIN] Germany will take on less net new debt in 2014 than the planned 6.5 billion euros based on a current assessment, the finance ministry said on Friday, suggesting a balanced budget might be within reach for Europe's largest economy even this year. "Based on a current assessment, the planned net new borrowing of 6.5 billion euros forseen for 2014 will not be needed in full," the ministry said in its monthly report.
That is likely due to the historically low interest rates on the government's debt and rising tax revenues.
It will be unclear how much the government will need to take out in net new borrowing overall this year until early next year.
Germany is aiming to achieve a "schwarze Null" - a federal budget that is in the black, or fully balanced - in 2015 for the first time in almost half a century but the comments in the finance ministry's report suggest a balanced budget might be achievable in 2014.
In June the parliamentary budget committee had said the government's net new borrowing target would remain unchanged at 6.5 billion euros this year despite several unexpected one-off factors.