|General Government Finances|
|Surplus/Deficit||Gross Debt||Net Debt|
|% quarterly||% annualised||% annualised|
The government recorded a surplus of €2.4 billion (3.1% of quarterly GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2017 (Table 1).
In the final quarter of 2017, government revenue amounted to €22.8 billion, up from €21.6 billion in quarter 4 2016. This increase was mainly due to increases in Taxes and Social contributions.
Government expenditure for quarter 4 2017 was €20.4 billion, an increase of €381 million on the same period last year. This increase is mainly due to Compensation of employees, Use of goods and services and Social benefits (Tables 1 and 4).
Government Gross Debt at 68.0% of GDP at end Q4 2017
General Government Gross Debt (GG Debt) was €201.3 billion (68.0% of GDP) at the end of quarter 4 2017 (Table 7). This compares with a debt level of 72.0% of GDP at the end of quarter 3. The fall in the ratio is due principally to the repayment of foreign loans to the IMF, Sweden and Denmark, amounting to approximately €5.5 billion. There was also a net redemption of government bonds of approximately €3.5 billion in the quarter.
These data are aligned to the annual Government Finance Statistics (GFS) results also published today, 16 April 2018. They remain provisional until final verification and publication by Eurostat on 23 April 2018. Preliminary tables show general government, revenue, expenditure and gross debt. The full suite of GFS tables will be published no later than 23 April 2018.
The changes to the previously published tables reflect updated data sources as well as a change to methodology for the treatment of the Affordable Housing Bodies - see Background notes.
National accounts are compiled in the EU according to the European System of National Accounts (ESA) framework - ESA 2010. The calculation methods for quarterly government finance accounts are similar to those used in deriving the annual government finance statistics accounts. As some of the available sources are of lesser reliability than those used for the annual government finance statistics accounts, the quarterly estimates are subject to a greater margin of error than the annual figures.
A full description of the concepts and definitions used in the production of these figures is provided in the Background notes.