DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's tax take was ahead of target at the end of November for the first time since February, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.
Ireland has consistently beaten its revenue targets in recent years as fast economic growth boosted the tax take, but receipts had fallen as much as 2.4 percent behind target in the year to April before the gap began gradually to narrow.
Tax revenues were 0.4 percent, or 192 million euros, ahead of target for the year to the end of November. Government spending was 1.9 percent, or 788 million euros (£693.4 million), below target.
The government recorded an overall surplus of 4.6 billion euros for the first 11 months of the year versus a 1.5 billion euro surplus a year ago, primarily due to June's 3.4 billion euro sale of a stake in state-owned Allied Irish Banks.
Excluding the AIB share sale and other one-off transactions, the Finance Ministry said the underlying exchequer position showed a year-on-year improvement of 1.2 billion euros.
Ireland aims to cut its budget deficit to 0.3 percent of gross domestic product this year from 0.7 percent in 2016 as it moves towards its first balanced budget for a decade.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Kevin Liffey)