The general government deficit and government debt-to-GDP ratios declined in the second quarter compared with the first quarter in both the European Union and the euro area, according to seasonally adjusted data released on Friday by Eurostat, the union’s statistical office
The general government deficit in the 19-nation euro area fell to 6.9 percent in the second quarter from 7.1 percent in the first quarter. In the EU-27, the same figure fell from a 6.6 per cent deficit to 6.3 percent. The data are inaccurate in that seasonally adjusted data for Greece, Croatia, Italy and Cyprus are not usually included in the Eurostat statement. The unadjusted figure is known for all 27 member states, suggesting that the general government deficit to GDP fell to 6.4 percent in the euro area from 8.8 per cent in the first quarter, while in the EU it fell from 8 percent to 5.6 percent.
Spain had the largest general government deficit as a share of GDP, at 10.9 percent in the second quarter, jumping well from the 5.9 percent deficit in the first quarter. The second-largest general government deficit as a share of GDP was measured in Cyprus, up 10.5 percent from 2.3 percent in the first quarter. The smallest deficit was in Bulgaria, 0.6 percent. However, there were four countries with a general government surplus in the second quarter, the largest at 2.3 percent in Luxembourg.
According to Eurostat, without a seasonal adjustment, the general government deficit in Hungary decreased to 2.5 percent in the second quarter from 6.8 percent in the first quarter, and seasonally adjusted the deficit decreased from 12.3 percent in the first quarter to 8.5 percent.
In the euro area, government debt as a share of GDP fell to 98.3 percent from 100 percent in the first quarter, and in the EU it fell from 92.4 percent to 90.9 percent. In the second quarter, the highest government debt-to-GDP ratio was measured in Greece, at 207.2 percent, followed by Italy (156.3 percent), Portugal (135.4 percent), Spain (122.8 percent), France (114.6 percent), Belgium (113.7 percent) and Cyprus followed with 112 percent. The lowest government debt-to-GDP ratio was in Estonia with 19.6 per cent, followed by Bulgaria with 24.7 percent and Luxembourg with 26.2 percent.
According to Eurostat, Hungary’s public debt was more than 39,416 billion Hungarian forints, which was 77.4 percent of GDP, less than the 80.8 percent registered in the first quarter. Government debt as a share of GDP was 70.2 percent in the second quarter of last year.