Germany raises tax income forecast, bolstering budget plans

BERLIN – Germany has raised its forecast for government tax income thanks to a healthy economy and low unemployment, bolstering its insistence that it can continue to avoid running up new debt.

Wednesday’s estimate foresees a 691.2 billion euros ($798 billion) tax take this year, 5 billion euros more than forecast in November. The forecast runs through 2020 and foresees a total 42.4 billion euros in additional tax income over five years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have made maintaining a balanced budget a major plank of their political platform, even as Germany faces the costs of dealing with a large influx of migrants.

Schaeuble said the estimate “strengthens us in being able to manage the current major challenges without new debt.”