22 Oct
Eurostat GDP

Euro area and EU28 government deficit both at 1.0% of GDP (Eurostat)

In 2017, the government deficit and debt of both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 decreased in relative terms compared with 2016. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio fell from 1.6% in 2016 to 1.0% in 2017, and in the EU28 from 1.7% to 1.0%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio declined from 89.1% at the end of 2016 to 86.8% at the end of 2017, and in the EU28 from 83.3% to 81.6%.

The release published today, 22 October, by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the second 2018 notification by EU Member States for the years 2014-2017, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA 2010 system of national accounts. This release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue.

In 2017, Malta (+3.5%), Cyprus (+1.8%), Sweden (+1.6%), Czechia (+1.5%), Luxembourg (+1.4%), the Netherlands (+1.2%), Bulgaria and Denmark (both +1.1%), Germany (+1.0%), Croatia (+0.9%), Greece (+0.8%), Lithuania (+0.5%) and Slovenia (+0.1%) registered a government surplus. The lowest government deficits as a percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland (-0.2%), Estonia (-0.4%), Latvia (-0.6%) and Finland (-0.7%). Two Member States had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: Spain (-3.1%) and Portugal (-3.0%).

At the end of 2017, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (8.7%), Luxembourg (23.0%), Bulgaria (25.6%), Czechia (34.7%), Romania (35.1%) and Denmark (36.1%). Fifteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (176.1%), Italy (131.2%), Portugal (124.8%), Belgium (103.4%), France (98.5%) and Spain (98.1%).

In 2017, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 47.0% of GDP and government revenue to 46.1%. The figures for the EU28 were 45.8% and 44.8% respectively. In both zones the government expenditure ratio decreased between 2016 and 2017, while the government revenue ratio increased.

Reservations on reported data

Hungary: Eurostat is maintaining the reservation on the quality of the data reported by Hungary in relation to the sector classification of the foundations created by the Hungarian National Bank. Eurostat considers that these foundations, including their subsidiaries, should be classified inside general government. This would lead to an estimated increase in government deficit in 2015 by 25.3 bn HUF (0.1% of GDP), in 2016 by 54.0 bn HUF (0.2% of GDP) and in 2017 by 33.7 bn HUF (0.1% of GDP). The debt figures would remain unchanged.

France: Eurostat is withdrawing the reservation on the quality of the data reported by France in relation to the sector classification of the Agence Française de Développement. Eurostat is also withdrawing the reservation on the treatment of the capital injection into AREVA with an impact on the deficit, for an amount of €2.5 bn (0.1% of GDP) in 2017. In the October 2018 EDP Notification the recording has been changed and is now treated as a capital transfer.

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By: Estela Martín

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