23 Apr

Euro area government deficit at 0.5% and EU28 at 0.6% of GDP

In 2018, the government deficit and debt of both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 decreased in relative terms compared with 2017, according to the last figures released today, April 23, by Eurostat.

In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio fell from 1.0% in 2017 to 0.5% in 2018, and in the EU28 from 1.0% to 0.6%.

In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio declined from 87.1% at the end of 2017 to 85.1% at the end of 2018, and in the EU28 from 81.7% to 80.0%.

In its last press release, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is providing government deficit and debt data for the years 2015-2018 based on figures reported by EU Member States in the first 2019 notification, 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 2018, Luxembourg (+2.4%), Bulgaria and Malta (both +2.0%), Germany (+1.7%), the Netherlands (+1.5%), Greece (+1.1%), Czechia and Sweden (both +0.9%), Lithuania and Slovenia (both +0.7%), Denmark (+0.5%), Croatia (+0.2%) and Austria (+0.1%) registered a government surplus, while Ireland reported a government balance. Two Member States had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: Romania (-3.0%) and Cyprus (-4.8%).

Spain, low ratio of government debt to GDP
At the end of 2018, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (8.4%), Luxembourg (21.4%), Bulgaria (22.6%), Czechia (32.7%), Denmark (34.1%) and Lithuania (34.2%). Fourteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (181.1%), Italy (132.2%), Portugal (121.5%), Cyprus (102.5%), Belgium (102.0%), France (98.4%) and Spain (97.1%).

In 2018, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 46.8% of GDP and government revenue to 46.3%. The figures for the EU28 were 45.6% and 45.0% respectively. In both zones the government expenditure ratio decreased between 2017 and 2018, while the government revenue ratio increased.

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