With a budget surplus of 1.1% of GDP in 2016, Sweden and Malta share the status of having the second-highest surplus in the European Union.
According to a report released by the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat, the two countries follow Luxembourg, which came top, with 1.6%.
“It confirms how strong our public finances are in Sweden,” the Nordic country’s Social Democrat Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told Swedish newswire TT in response to the report, listing three reasons behind the strong performance: “Tight fiscal policies, more jobs and cost control.”
Germany followed behind Sweden with a budget surplus of 0.8%, according to Eurostat, with Spain registering the highest deficit (-4.5%). The UK reported a deficit of -2.9% of GDP.
As reported by The Local, Eurostat’s report also shows big differences between the EU countries’ government debt in relation to their GDP.
In Estonia, the government debt amounted to 9.4% of GDP in 2016, while the countries that are worst hit by the financial crisis such as Greece, Italy and Portugal had debts exceeding their GDP.