Israel's budget deficit fell to 0.04% of gross domestic product in May over the prior 12 months, its lowest level in 14 years, from 0.6% of GDP in April, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

Israel has a deficit target for 2022 of 3.9% of GDP.

Helped by a 20% annual rise in tax revenue in May amid a continuation of an economic rebound from the COVID crisis, Israel posted a budget surplus of 1.4 billion shekels ($420 million) for the month, bringing the surplus to 33.3 billion shekels over the first five months of 2022 and lowering the deficit as measured over 12 months.

The deficit was its lowest level since January 2008, the ministry said. It had reached nearly 12% of GDP in early 2021 due to steep state spending to help Israel's economy cope with the virus.

($1 = 3.3320 shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)