Eurostat: Greece records higher fiscal surplus, lower public debt in 2017

Greece recorded a fiscal surplus of 0.8 pct of GDP in 2017, from a surplus of 0.6 pct in 2016, while the country’s public debt fell to 178.6 pct of GDP (317.4 billion euros) from 180.8 pct in 2016, Eurostat said on Monday.

In a report released here, the EU executive’s statistics agency said that in the Eurozone, the fiscal deficit fell to 0.9 pct of the average GDP in 2017, from 1.5 pct in 2016, while in the EU the fiscal deficit eased to 1.0 pct of GDP from 1.6 pct in 2016.

The public debt fell to 86.7 pct of GDP in the Eurozone in 2017 from 89 pct in 2016, while in the EU it fell to 81.6 pct of GDP from 83.3 pct over the same periods, respectively. A total of 12 EU member-states recorded fiscal surpluses in 2017, led by Malta (3.9 pct), Cyprus (1.8 pct), Czech Republic (1.6 pct), Luxembourg (1.5 pct), Sweden and Germany (1.3 pct). On the other hand, two Eurozone member-states recorded a fiscal deficit equal or more than the 3.0 pct of GDP ceiling (Spain -3.1 pct, Portugal -3.0 pct), while Finland (-0.6 pct), Latvia (-0.5 pct), Ireland and Estonia (-0.3 pct each) recorded the lowest fiscal deficits.

Greece recorded the highest public debt in the EU (178.6 pct), followed by Italy (131.8 pct), Portugal (125.7 pct), Belgium (103.1 pct) and Spain (98.3 pct). Estonia (9.0 pct), Luxembourg (23 pct), Bulgaria (25.4 pct), Czech Republic (34.6 pct), Romania (35 pct) and Denmark (36.4 pct) recorded the lowest public debt in the EU.