Greek state budget’s primary surplus was 3.5 pct of GDP in 2019

The Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of 3.5 pct of GDP in 2019, based on ESA 2010 terms of post-memorandum monitoring, finance ministry officials said on Wednesday, commenting on the release of a report by Eurostat. According to the report, the general government recorded a surplus of 1.5 pct of GDP or 2.7 billion euros in 2019. The primary surplus based on excessive deficit procedure is different with the surplus based on the economic adjustment program.

Eurostat report

Greece’s general government surplus reached 2.7 billion euros or 1.5 pct of GDP in 2019, based on the ESA 2010 system of national accounts, Eurostat said on Wednesday. The EU’s statistics agency in a report said that the general government’s debt was 331.1 billion euros or 176.6 pct of GDP at the end of 2019, from 334.723 billion or 181.2 pct of GDP in 2018, while the country’s Gross Domestic Product reached 187.456 billion euros, up from 184.714 billion in the previous year.

General government spending was 86.735 billion euros in 2019, or 46.27 pct of GDP, while revenue was 89.48 billion euros, or 47.73 pct of GDP.

In this report, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is providing government deficit and debt data for the years 2016-2019 based on figures reported by EU Member States in the first notification in 2020, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP).

In 2019, Denmark (+3.7%), Luxembourg (+2.2%), Bulgaria (+2.1%), Cyprus and the Netherlands (both +1.7%), Greece (+1.5%), Germany (+1.4%), Austria (+0.7%), Malta, Slovenia and Sweden (all +0.5%), Ireland and Croatia (both +0.4%), Czechia and Lithuania (both +0.3%), and Portugal (+0.2%) registered a government surplus. Two Member States had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: France (-3.0%) and Romania (-4.3%).

At the end of 2019, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (8.4%), Bulgaria (20.4%), Luxembourg (22.1%), Czechia (30.8%) and Denmark (33.2%). Eleven Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (176.6%), Italy (134.8%), Portugal (117.7%), Belgium (98.6%), France (98.1%), Spain and Cyprus (both 95.5%). In 2019, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 47.1% of GDP and government revenue to 46.5%. The figures for the EU27 were 46.7% and 46.2% respectively.