Spain Closed 2017 With Largest Deficit In The EU, But Less Debt Than Initially Estimated

Spain´s public deficit in 2017 was the highest in the EU

The deficit of Spain’s public administrations was 3.1% of GDP last year, the highest in the European Union. This is according to the data published on Monday by the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, which has downgraded by two points Spain´s public debt to 98.1% of GDP.

Spain´s public deficit in 2017 was the highest in the Union, above the 3% registered by Portugal, and followed by Rumania (-2.9%), France (-2.7%) and Italy (-2.4%).

On the other hand, Malta (+3.5%), Cyprus (+1.8%) and Sweden (+1,6%) are the member states which registered the largest budgetary surpluses, followed by the Czech Republic (+1.5%) and Luxemburg (+1.4%). In the Eurozone as a whole, the public deficit in 2017 was 1%, a tenth more than estimated in April, although significantly below the 1.6% registered a year before, while among the 28 the deficit was 1%, seven tenths less then in 2016.

As for the debt, Eurostat gives Spain´s debt at the end of 2017 as 98.1% of GDP, two tenths less than calculated in April, which represents a fall of nine points compared with 2016, although the country remains the sixth most indebted country in the EU. The European countries with greater public debt in 2017 were Greece (176.1%), Italy (131.2%), Portugal (124.8%), Belgium (103.4%) and France (98.5%), while the EU members least indebted in relation to GDP were Estonia (8.7%), Luxemburg (23%) and the Czech Republic (34.7%). In the EU as a whole, the public debt ratio at the end of 2017 was 81.6% compared to 83.3% in 2016, while that in the Eurozone was 86.8% compared to 89.1% the year before.

More Italian Debt

Among the revisions to the data published in April, Eurostat has announced a higher ratio of budgetary deficit for Italy, which closed 2017 at 2.4%, a tenth more than in the previously published estimation. However, despite the higher deficit estimated for Italy in 2017, the European statistic office has downgraded Italy´s public debt at the close of last year to 131.2%, from the initially predicted 131.8%.


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