Euro-area seasonally adjusted general government deficit stood at 3.1% of GDP in Q3, down from 3.3% in Q2; in EU, deficit-to-GDP ratio remained nearly stable at 3.5%: Eurostat

BRUSSELS , February 3, 2014 (press release) – In the third quarter of 2013, the seasonally adjusted2 general government deficit3 to GDP ratio stood at 3.1% in the euro area4 (EA17), down from 3.3% in the second quarter of 2013. In the EU284 the deficit to GDP ratio remained nearly stable at 3.5%.

Government revenue and expenditure for the euro area and EU28

In the third quarter of 2013, total government revenue in the euro area amounted to 47.1% of GDP, up from 46.9% in the second quarter of 2013. Total government expenditure in the euro area reached 50.2% of GDP, stable compared with the previous quarter.

In the third quarter of 2013, total government revenue in the EU28 was 45.8% of GDP, down from 46.0% in the second quarter of 2013. Total government expenditure in the EU28 was 49.3% of GDP, nearly stable compared with the previous quarter (49.4% of GDP).

1. Provisional release dates during 2014 are:
- Data for fourth quarter 2013 – 24 April 2014
- Data for first quarter 2014 – 23 July 2014
- Data for second quarter 2014 – 23 October 2014

2. Data for the euro area and EU aggregates is working day and seasonally adjusted by Eurostat using an indirect approach (by country) for total revenue and total expenditure. Both revenue and expenditure exhibit a clear seasonal pattern. The surplus (+)/deficit (-) is derived indirectly from the above-mentioned transactions. For the ratios to GDP, working day and seasonally adjusted GDP is used.

Selected countries also supply Eurostat with their own estimates of working day and seasonally adjusted data for general government total revenue and total expenditure on a voluntary basis and permit Eurostat to publish these estimates.

For available Member State data, both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted, and country-specific metadata on working day and seasonal adjustment, please refer to the information published on the Eurostat ‘Statistics Explained’ page on quarterly government accounts:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Government_finance_statistics_-_quarterly_data
EU28 seasonally adjusted data have been estimated using EU27 seasonally adjusted data and the available quarterly pattern for Croatia. Croatian quarterly data are available from first quarter 2012.

3. Quarterly non-financial accounts for general government are collected from the Member States according to Commission Regulation (EC) No 264/2000 of 3 February 2000 on the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 with respect to short-term public finance statistics and Regulation (EC) No 1221/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 June 2002 on quarterly non-financial accounts for general government. The definition of total revenue and total expenditure is defined in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1500/2000 of 10 July 2000 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 with respect to general government expenditure and revenue. In this publication the definition of net lending (+)/ net borrowing (-), also referred to as surplus (+)/ deficit (-) is applied as defined in Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 of 25 June 1996 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community. This definition differs slightly from the one used for the purposes of the Excessive Deficit Procedure, which treats swaps and forwards as non-financial transactions. In the definition used here, these are treated as financial transactions and thus do not impact the deficit. For most countries and the EU aggregates, the difference between the two measures is small.

Following the availability of more detailed annual data sources for 2013, data in many Member States is expected to be revised. Annual EDP data notified by Member States in April and October are the subject of a thorough verification by Eurostat, which can lead to a revision of previously published quarterly data for general government as transmitted under the ESA95 regulation.

Quarterly non-financial accounts for general government are published in the Eurostat database:
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/government_finance_statistics/data/database.

4. Up to 31 December 2013, the euro area (EA17) included Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. From 1 January 2014 the euro area (EA18) also includes Latvia.
Up to 30 June 2013 the European Union (EU27) included Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. From 1 July 2013 the European Union (EU28) also includes Croatia.

As part of Eurostat's guidelines for the dissemination of data when the euro area or EU is enlarged, the aggregate data series commented on in this News Release refer to the official compositions in the most recent quarter for which data is available. News Releases with data for 2013 Q3 onwards comment on EU28 series. News Releases with data for quarters up to 2013 Q4 comment on EA17 series, while Releases with data for 2014 Q1 onwards will comment on EA18 series.
Eurostat's guidelines can be found on the Eurostat website:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/GUIDE_ENLARG_2007/EN/GUIDE_ENLARG_2007-EN.PDF


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