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CSO statistical release, 16 April 2018, 11am

Government Finance Statistics - Annual

2012 to 2017 (April 2018 Results)

 General Government and GDP
 GG DeficitGG Gross DebtGG Net DebtGDP
End of year€m% GDP€m% GDP€m% GDP€m

Government deficit of 0.3% of GDP in 2017

Figure 1 General Government Deficit, Gross Debt and Net Debt
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For 2017 the government deficit was €1.0 billion (-0.3% of GDP), an improvement on the 2016 deficit of €1.4 billion (-0.5% of GDP). 2017 saw increases in both government revenue (+3.8%) and expenditure (+3.2%) (Table 1). 

At the end of 2017 government revenue was €76.2 billion. The upward trend in tax and social contribution revenues continued with increases of €2.8 billion (+5.2%) in Taxes and €0.6 billion (+5.0%) in Social contributions (Tables 1 and 3).

The main drivers behind the increase in government expenditure in 2017 to €77.2 billion were Compensation of employees/Pay (+6.4%), Social benefits (+1.9%) and Gross fixed capital formation (+8.0%). Debt service costs, or Interest, continued to decrease in 2017 (-5.7%) (Tables 1 and 4).

Around 24% of the 2017 deficit was due to interventions to support financial institutions (€244 million) with associated interest costs partly offset by dividend and investment income.  Investment income fell over the period 2013-2017 as the State reduced its holdings in financial institutions (Table 1).

Government debt falls to 68.0% of GDP in 2017

The general government gross debt (GG Debt) stood at €201.3 billion at the end of 2017 (68.0% of GDP), up from the 2016 figure of €200.7 billion (72.8% of GDP).  However, the increase in GDP in 2017 was the primary driver in the decrease of the debt to GDP ratio as nominal debt levels remained relatively flat in the period (Table 7). In 2016 the gross debt to Modified Gross National Income (GNI*) ratio was 106.1%.

National accounts are compiled in the EU according to the European System of National Accounts 2010 (ESA2010) framework.

The data in this release are subject to the normal EDP verification process by Eurostat until 23 April 2018. Preliminary tables show general government revenue, expenditure and gross debt.  The full suite of Government Finance Statistics tables will be made available no later than 23 April 2018.

The changes to the previously published tables under the Excessive Debt Procedure in October 2017 reflect updated data sources as well as a change to methodology for the treatment of the sale of mobile phone licences and the treatment of the Approved Housing Bodies - see Background notes.

Tables included in the release show a reconciliation of the Exchequer Balance to the General Government Deficit (Table 8).

GFS annual results are benchmarked to the most recent EDP notification. Consequently, they may not always be fully aligned with the National Income and Expenditure and related publications such as the Institutional Sector Accounts.

The main EDP notification tables for Ireland, details of government guarantees, PPPs and concessions and tables showing the impact of government interventions in the financial sector on government accounts will be published on 23 April, the same day as the Eurostat release.