Irish tax revenue ahead of target, outperformance weakens

DUBLIN, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ireland kept ahead of its revenue goal for the year at the end of the third quarter but its outperformance weakened for the third successive month as tax returns beat their target by 1.5 percent, down from 3.1 percent in June.

The better-than-expected tax take was offset again by continued government overspend with department expenditure coming in 2.0 percent above target versus 1.6 percent in August, chiefly due to the swollen health and social protection budgets.

Ireland's budget deficit for the first nine months of the year fell to 11.1 billion euros from 20.6 billion a year ago, mainly due to the state recapitalisations of lenders last year and the rescheduling of other bank-related payments earlier this year.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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