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Euro Area and EU27 Government Deficit at 3.7% and 4.0% of GDP Respectively
In 2012, the government deficit of both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 decreased in absolute terms compared with 2011, while the government debt rose in both zones. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 4.2% in 2011 to 3.7% in 2012, and in the EU27 from 4.4% to 4.0%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 87.3% at the end of 2011 to 90.6% at the end of 2012, and in the EU27 from 82.5% to 85.3%.
In 2012 the lowest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded in Estonia (-0.3%), Sweden (-0.5%), Bulgaria and Luxembourg (both -0.8%) and Latvia (-1.2%), while Germany (+0.2%) registered a government surplus. Seventeen Member States had deficits higher than 3% of GDP: Spain (-10.6%), Greece (-10.0%), Ireland (-7.6%), Portugal (-6.4%), Cyprus and the United Kingdom (both -6.3%), France (-4.8%), the Czech Republic (-4.4%), Slovakia (-4.3%), the Netherlands (-4.1%), Denmark and Slovenia (both -4.0%), Belgium and Poland (both -3.9%), Malta (-3.3%), Lithuania (-3.2%) and Italy (-3.0%). In all, thirteen Member States recorded an improvement in their government balance relative to GDP in 2012 compared with 2011, twelve a worsening and two remained stable.
At the end of 2012, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (10.1%), Bulgaria (18.5%), Luxembourg (20.8%), Romania (37.8%), Sweden (38.2%), Latvia and Lithuania (both 40.7%). Fourteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP: Greece (156.9%), Italy (127.0%), Portugal (123.6%), Ireland (117.6%), Belgium (99.6%), France (90.2%), the United Kingdom (90.0%), Cyprus (85.8%), Spain (84.2%), Germany (81.9%), Hungary (79.2%), Austria (73.4%), Malta (72.1%) and the Netherlands (71.2%). In all, six Member States recorded an improvement in their government debt relative to GDP in 2012 compared with 2011 and twenty-one a worsening.
In 2012, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 49.9% of GDP and government revenue to 46.2%. The figures for the EU27 were 49.4% and 45.4% respectively. In both zones, the government expenditure and the government revenue ratio increased between 2011 and 2012.