Deficit shrinks as jobs boost tax take
The country posted a surplus in the first five months of the year - while separate figures showed unemployment continues to fall.
Extra taxes combined with lower spending helped Finance Minister Michael Noonan to post a surplus of €641m in the five months to May, compared with a deficit of €3.5bn in the same period last year.
One of the biggest reasons for the higher tax take and lower spending is the surge in the number of people in work.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that the monthly unemployment rate held steady at 9.8pc as a further 300 people left the register. That's the lowest level recorded since 2009.
The chief reason for the exchequer surplus was a 10.9pc surge in tax revenues to €17.3bn combined with extra cash from the Central Bank and the sale of a stake in Permanent TSB.
Tax receipts are running €700m ahead of Department of Finance projections, as companies paid €485m more in tax than predicted in October's Budget.