Eurostat finds Eurozone deficit, debt down in 2017

EPA-EFE/ARMANDO BABANI

Members of the press inspect euro banknotes during the unveiling of the new 100 and 200 euro banknotes at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, September 17, 2018.

Eurostat finds Eurozone deficit, debt down in 2017


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The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat released on October 22 data on the aggregated Eurozone budget deficit and debt for 2017 which showed that annual inflation in the EU stood at 2.2% in September, slightly higher than 2.1% in August.

In the Eurozone, seasonally-adjusted annual inflation was 2.1% versus 2.0% a month earlier, according to the European Union’s statistical office.  The 2017 deficit in both the Eurozone and the EU28 appears to be dropping in relative terms compared with 2016. The government deficit-to-GDP ratio in the 19 Eurozone nations fell from 1.6% in 2016 to 1.0% in 2017, and from 1.7% to 1.0% in the EU28.

The government debt-to-GDP ratio in the Eurozone dropped from 89.1% at the end of 2016 to 86.8% at the end of last year and from 83.3% to 81.6% at an EU28 level.

Acorss the EU 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 EU members had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: Spain (-3.1%), and Portugal (-3.0%).

At the close 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%).

According to Eurostat, 15 Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (176.1%), followed by Italy (131.2%), Portugal (124.8%), Belgium (103.4%), France (98.5%), and Spain (98.1%).

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

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