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Eurostat Releases 2011 Deficit Figures

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

25 October 2012

Eurostat has released statistics showing that the overall deficit of the European Union (EU) shrank sharply in 2011 compared with 2010, although public debt is still rising.

The figures show that the combined deficits of the EU27 decreased from 6.5% of EU gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to 4.4% in 2011. However, public debt rose from 80% of GDP to 82.5%. When taking into account eurozone countries only, the deficit fell from 6.2% of GDP in 2010 to 4.1% in 2011 whereas eurozone public debt has swollen from 85.4% to 87.3% of GDP.

In monetary terms, the total EU deficit stood at EUR560bn (USD720bn) at the end of 2011, down from EUR801bn in 2010, marking a 30% decrease.

In 2011, three EU countries showed a budget surplus, including Hungary (4.3%), Estonia (1.1%), and Sweden (0.4%). At the same time, a few EU countries achieved budget deficits below 1% of GDP. These included Germany (0.8%), Finland (0.6%), and Luxembourg (0.3%).

Most EU member states, (17 of them) however, have shown a deficit above 3% of GDP, especially Ireland (13.4%), Greece and Spain (9.4% each).

Eurostat also noted that the ratio of government spending as a proportion of GDP has decreased, while the share of tax revenues on GDP has risen. Throughout the EU, these two ratios stand at 49.1% and 44.7% of GDP, respectively.

TAGS: tax | economics | Hungary | Ireland | gross domestic product (GDP) | budget | Estonia | Luxembourg | Finland | Germany | Greece | Spain | Sweden | European Union (EU) | Europe

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