EU's government deficit increases significantly in 2020
All EU countries posted deficit, with highest figures recorded in Spain, Malta, Greece, says Eurostat
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.