In 2014, Lithuania posted the smallest budget deficit among member-states of the European Union (EU), barr countries that reported surplus, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said.
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

In 2014, the government deficit of both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 decreased in absolute terms compared with 2013, while the government debt rose in both zones. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 2.9 percent in 2013 to 2.4 percent in 2014, and in the EU28 from 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 90.9 percent at the end of 2013 to 91.9 percent at the end of 2014, and in the EU28 from 85.5 percent to 86.8 percent.

In 2014, Denmark (+1.2 percent), Germany (+0.7 percent), Estonia and Luxembourg (+0.6 percent each) registered a government surplus, and the lowest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded in Lithuania (-0.7 percent), Latvia (-1.4 percent) and Romania (-1.5 percent). Twelve member-states had deficits higher than 3 percent of GDP: Cyprus (-8.8 percent), Spain (-5.8 percent), Croatia and the United Kingdom (both -5.7 percent), Slovenia (-4.9 percent), Portugal (-4.5 percent), Ireland (-4.1 percent), France (-4.0 percent), Greece (-3.5 percent), Belgium, Poland and Finland (all -3.2 percent).

At the end of 2014, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (10.6 percent), Luxembourg (23.6 percent), Bulgaria (27.6 percent), Romania (39.8 percent) and Latvia (40.0 percent). Sixteen member-states had government debt ratios higher than 60 percent of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (177.1 percent), Italy (132.1 percent), Portugal (130.2 percent), Ireland (109.7 percent), Cyprus (107.5 percent) and Belgium (106.5 percent).

In 2014, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 49.0 percent of GDP and government revenue to 46.6 percent. The figures for the EU28 were 48.1 percent and 45.2 percent respectively. In both zones, the government expenditure ratio decreased between 2013 and 2014, while the government revenue ratio remained stable for the euro area and slightly decreased for the EU28.

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