EU's government deficit increases significantly in 2020

All EU countries posted deficit, with highest figures recorded in Spain, Malta, Greece, says Eurostat

2021-04-22 15:16:11


The government deficit and debt in both the euro area and the EU rose significantly last year, compared to 2019, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to official figures released on Thursday.

"In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio rose from 0.6% in 2019 to 7.2% in 2020, and in the EU from 0.5% to 6.9%," said a Eurostat statement.

In 2020, all EU countries posted deficit, with highest figures recorded in Spain (minus 11%), Malta (minus 10.1%) and Greece. (minus 9.7%)

All countries, except for Denmark (minus 1.1%), saw deficits higher than 3% of GDP.

On the other hand, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were seen in Estonia (18.2%), Luxembourg (24.9%), Bulgaria (25%), Czechia (38.1%) and Sweden (39.9%).

Meanwhile, in the euro area, the government debt to GDP ratio rose from 83.9% at the end of 2019 to 98.0% at the end of 2020, and in the EU from 77.5% to 90.7%.

A total of 14 member states had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (205.6%), Italy (155.8%), Portugal (133.6%), Spain (120.0%).

"In 2020, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 54.1% of GDP and government revenue to 46.8%,” Eurostat said.

The figures for the EU were 53.4% and 46.5%, respectively.

In both zones, the government expenditure ratio increased notably, while the government revenue ratio rose slightly.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency – euro – while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.