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    EU public deficit decreases as national debts grow

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The public deficit decreased in 2014 compared to 2013, both in the Eurozone and in the 28 EU member countries. Debt however continued to rise in both zones, according to data published by Eurostat on Wednesday. Belgium ’s deficit rose above 3% of GDP, and national debt is at 106.7% of GDP.

    The ratio of public debt to GDP increased from 91.1% at the end of 2013 to 92.1% at the end of 2014 in the Euro-zone. In the EU as a whole the ratio went from 85.5% to 86.8%.  The ratio of public deficit (negative budgetary balance) to GDP decreased in the Eurozone from 3% in 2013 to 2.6% in 2014. In the EU as a whole it dropped from 3.3% to 3%.

    Four countries reported a government surplus in 2014: Denmark (+1.5%), Luxemburg (+1.4%), Estonia (+0.7%) and Germany (+0.3%). The lowest ratios of public deficit to GDP were reported in Lithuania (-0.7%), Romania (-1.4%), Latvia (-1.5%), Sweden (-1.7%) and the Czech Republic (-1.9%).

    14 member states, however, reported a deficit of at least 3% of GDP: Cyprus (-8.9%), Portugal (-7.2%), Spain (-5.9%), Bulgaria(-5.8%), the United Kingdom (-5.7%), Croatia (-5.6%), Slovenia (-5.0%), Ireland and France (-3.9% each), Greece (-3.6%), Poland and Finland (-3.3% each), Belgium (-3.1%), and Italy (-3.0%). As for national debts, the lowest ratios to GDP were reported in Estonia (10.4%), Luxemburg (23.0%), Bulgaria (27.0%), Romania (39.9%), Latvia (40.6%) and Lithuania (40.7%). 16 EU countries registered public debt ratios over 60%, including Greece (178.6%), Italy (132.3%), Portugal (130.2%), Cyprus (108.2%) and Ireland (107.5%).

    Belgium’s deficit reached 4.1% in 2011, and therefore has decreased since. Belgian national debt went from 102.2% of GDP in 2011 to 105.1% in 2013, and 106.7% in 2014.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)