Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Extra information
Methodology Previous Releases
International comparison:
Eurostat GFS Database
See also:
YouTube Video
For more information on this release:
E-mail: Rod O'Mahony (+353) 1 498 4304 Ciaran Judge (+353) 1 498 4360
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN ISSN 2009-6178
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Government Finance Statistics Quarterly Results

Quarter 1 2013

 General Government Deficit, Debt and Net Worth Q1 2013
 General Government Surplus/Deficit General Government Gross Debt General Government Net Worth
 €m% quarterly GDP €m% annualised GDP €m% annualised GDP
2012 Q1-5,029-12.6 174,145106.8 -58,523-35.9
2013 Q1-5,387-13.8 204,054125.1 -81,126-49.7

Government Deficit at 13.8% of quarterly GDP in Q1 2013

Figure 1 GFSQ - GG Deficit
go to full release

Ireland’s General Government Deficit (GGDeficit) amounted to €5,387 million in the first quarter of 2013 representing 13.8% of quarterly GDP.  This was almost €360 million greater than the corresponding figure for the first quarter of 2012.  Government revenue for the period at €12,821 million was higher than the Q1 2012 revenue of €11,848 by €973 million (mainly due to increased revenue from taxes and social contributions).  However expenditure in this quarter amounted to €18,128 million, representing an increase of €1,299 million on the Q1 2012 levels of €16,829 million. This was mainly due to increases in capital transfers (in particular, payments under the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee Scheme related to the liquidation of IBRC) and interest expenditure.

A full description of the concepts and definitions used in the production of these figures is provided in the Background Notes. These notes also include a section detailing specific issues relevant to the data for the current release.


Increase in Government Debt

Ireland’s General Government Gross Debt (GGDebt) stood at €204.1 billion or 125.1% of annualised GDP at the end of Q1 2013, an increase of €11.6 billon since the previous quarter when GGDebt amounted to €192.5 billion representing 117.4% of GDP (Table 2).  

General Government Net Debt for the corresponding period amounted to €154.9 billion or 95.0% of GDP.  This net debt figure is obtained by deducting the value of the financial assets corresponding to those categories of financial liabilities which comprise GGDebt from the gross debt figure.

Fall in Government Net Worth

Net Worth (non-financial assets plus financial assets less liabilities) of General Government continued its recent decline in Q1 2013, falling to -€81.1 billion from -€77.2 billion at the end of the previous quarter (Table 2).

This change is explained primarily by the -€5,387 million GGDeficit incurred in the quarter, offset by holding gains on equity assets of General Government amounting to +€1,368 million (see Table 6 of detailed tables).

Tables 1 and 2 set out the main components of Government revenue and expenditure as well as details of government assets and liabilities.  Additional, more detailed tables are available at

Ireland's GG Debt and Net Worth as a percentage of annualised GDP
Table 1 General Government Transactions: Revenue, Expenditure, Financing and Deficit    € million
DescriptionESA code2009 Q12009 Q22009 Q32009 Q42010 Q12010 Q22010 Q32010 Q42011 Q12011 Q22011 Q32011 Q42012 Q12012 Q22012 Q32012 Q42013 Q1
General Government transactions                  
Taxes and social contributions 10,64611,60311,49014,1719,74711,40211,16714,00210,31011,66311,57614,32710,39311,73412,05615,01811,625
TaxesD2 + D5 + D918,0068,8298,29910,7906,9838,6798,48410,6967,6699,2359,05711,6658,1389,3989,70112,4579,195
Social contributions D612,6402,7743,1913,3812,7642,7222,6833,3052,6412,4292,5192,6622,2552,3362,3552,5622,430
Sales of goods and servicesP1O9109691,1041,5611,0879261,0502,1791,1071,2321,2421,5051,0361,1271,2221,483833
Investment incomeD43917414154382701,1163373892631,1342583462801,376392208296
Current transfer revenueD771282627632220212812717211162621
Capital transfer revenueD9N156181185909466721696756222228711721204545
Expense 17,18020,43119,16018,18727,83118,79626,28727,71116,52516,74124,34217,42016,65516,78417,13517,98318,001
Compensation of employeesD15,1815,0235,0465,4554,8274,6344,7625,0624,8744,6804,7204,8394,8894,6174,6534,6254,791
Use of goods and services plus taxes payableP2 + D5 + D292,6932,3382,4472,7442,1711,9921,9333,1571,9502,2602,2222,3391,8472,0392,1792,3641,684
Depreciation (Consumption of fixed capital)K1664664664664662662662662656656656656606606606606560
Interest (excluding FISIM)D418098198028591,1391,1771,4561,2111,2231,2891,4471,2311,2981,4331,6461,5341,841
Social benefitsD62 + D6316,6337,1237,8737,3826,4777,3187,5097,1396,7227,2277,6457,3506,9346,9217,0927,5917,094
Other current transfersD7587497317363561320407287530243357428521351398342553
Capital transfersD92093,5541,59825511,6172,3609,1929,695266876,9681572354731944161,161
Net operating balance  -5,006-6,909-5,941-1,082-16,197-4,611-13,643-11,054-4,760-2,678-11,237-938-4,807-2,515-3,438-1,202-5,340
Net acquisition of non-financial assetsP5 + NP - K14187651,0271,2163523915861,449151293191,02217456140-94127
Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-)B9-5,424-7,673-6,968-2,299-16,549-5,001-14,229-12,503-4,912-2,707-11,556-1,960-4,981-2,571-3,579-1,108-5,308
Net acquisition of financial assets 4,9603,385-4,211-1,0253,906-6,4922,393-7,4217,506-972-6,6803,3061,7232,0378,924-2,3478,980
Debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F46,0713,321-2,580-1,7684,491-9,3482,249-6,26411,013-1,563-12,7022,6102,1873319,949-3,8628,728
Shares and other equityF571-349-859-1,2206042,129698-2,001-3,7917887,440-854-501,388447328
Other financial assetsF34 + F61 + F62 + F7-1,182413-7721,963-1,189727-554844284-197-1,4181,550-414318-1,0291,042224
Net incurrence of liabilities 10,38311,0582,7571,27320,456-1,49016,6215,08312,4171,7354,8765,2666,7034,60812,503-1,24014,288
Debt instrumentsF2 + F33 + F410,62111,0052,6691,76820,146-1,34116,5745,82011,1611,9755,0866,2455,2584,93112,782-28212,852
Other liabilitiesF34 + F5 + F61 + F62 + F7-2385388-495310-14947-7371,256-240-210-9791,445-323-279-9581,436
General Government Deficit                  
Net lending / net borrowingB9-5,423-7,673-6,968-2,298-16,550-5,002-14,228-12,504-4,911-2,707-11,556-1,960-4,980-2,571-3,579-1,107-5,308
Adjustment for swaps -1-1-1-12222-34-34-34-34-49-54-55-63-80
General Government Surplus/Deficit EDP_B9-5,424-7,674-6,969-2,299-16,548-5,000-14,226-12,502-4,945-2,741-11,590-1,994-5,029-2,625-3,634-1,170-5,387
 General Government Surplus/Deficit (% of quarterly GDP) -13.1-18.6-17.3-5.8-42.0-12.4-35.4-32.9-12.5-6.6-28.2-4.9-12.6-6.2-8.8-2.9-13.8
Table 2 General Government Net Worth, Gross and Net Debt                 € million
DescriptionESA code2009 Q12009 Q22009 Q32009 Q42010 Q12010 Q22010 Q32010 Q42011 Q12011 Q22011 Q32011 Q42012 Q12012 Q22012 Q32012 Q42013 Q1
General Government net worth                  
 Net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilitiesNW40,87831,42421,41419,6442,137-1,248-11,835-14,684-16,990-19,507-48,412-47,618-58,523-62,934-71,854-77,203-81,126
  Non-financial assets at market valueNFA66,78964,62862,73061,02060,02959,07658,31958,42557,87757,20756,82657,14857,32257,37857,51957,42557,552
  Financial net worth at market value, excluding pension liabilitiesFNW-25,911-33,204-41,316-41,376-57,892-60,324-70,154-73,109-74,867-76,714-105,238-104,766-115,845-120,312-129,373-134,628-138,678
   Financial assets at market valueFA70,57674,67672,08072,38277,94869,82072,10864,96571,02866,78058,73762,35764,61266,09875,23173,15483,546
   EDP debt instrumentsAF2 + AF33 + AF442,82346,21643,71141,95046,69737,41939,68932,90842,72640,90228,21430,83933,17533,62743,60240,24949,137
     Shares and other equityAF520,41020,81421,49721,71223,28824,04024,85423,75019,70217,43723,15822,58122,99123,15723,26624,39825,794
     Other financial assetsAF34 + AF61 + AF62 + AF77,3437,6466,8728,7207,9638,3617,5658,3078,6008,4417,3658,9378,4469,3148,3638,5078,615
   Liabilities at market value 96,487107,880113,396113,758135,840130,144142,262138,074145,895143,494163,975167,123180,457186,410204,604207,782222,224
     EDP debt instrumentsAF2 + AF33 + AF490,157101,350106,606107,816129,590124,048136,031132,639139,187137,023157,295161,089172,994179,041197,314201,104214,512
     Other liabilitiesAF34 + AF61 + AF62 + AF76,3306,5306,7905,9426,2506,0966,2315,4356,7086,4716,6806,0347,4637,3697,2906,6787,712
  Memo: Estimated pension liabilities of government 116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000116,000
 Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities -75,122-84,576-94,586-96,356-113,863-117,248-127,835-130,684-132,990-135,507-164,412-163,618-174,523-178,934-187,854-193,203-197,127
  Contingent liabilities 286,370286,370286,370286,370162,076162,076162,076162,076147,241147,241147,241147,241119,306119,306119,306119,306119,306
 Memo: Net worth, including pension liabilities and contingent liabilities -361,492-370,946-380,957-382,726-275,940-279,324-289,911-292,760-280,231-282,749-311,653-310,859-293,829-298,240-307,160-312,509-316,433
General Government: changes in net worth                  
  Opening net worth 46,74940,87831,42421,41419,6442,137-1,248-11,835-14,684-16,990-19,507-48,412-47,618-58,523-62,934-71,854-77,203
 Change in net worth due to transactions -5,005-6,908-5,941-1,082-16,198-4,611-13,642-11,055-4,760-2,678-11,237-938-4,806-2,515-3,439-1,201-5,180
  Net acquisition of non-financial assets P5 + NP - K14187651,0271,2163523915861,449151293191,02217456140-94127
  Net lending/net borrowingB9-5,423-7,673-6,968-2,298-16,550-5,002-14,228-12,504-4,911-2,707-11,556-1,960-4,980-2,571-3,579-1,107-5,308
 Change in net worth due to other economic flowsKx-866-2,546-4,070-688-1,3091,2273,0558,2062,453160-17,6681,732-6,099-1,896-5,482-4,1481,258
  Other changes in non-financial assets -2,926-2,926-2,926-2,926-1,343-1,343-1,343-1,343-700-700-700-70000000
  Other changes in financial assets -6657151,6151,3271,660-1,636-105278-1,443-3,276-1,363314532-5512092701,412
  Other changes in liabilities 2,725-335-2,759911-1,6264,2064,5039,2714,5964,136-15,6052,118-6,631-1,345-5,691-4,418-155
Closing net worth 40,87831,42421,41419,6442,137-1,248-11,835-14,684-16,990-19,507-48,412-47,618-58,523-62,934-71,854-77,203-81,126
General Government Debt (GGDebt)                  
  Debt instrument liabilities at market value 90,157101,350106,606107,816129,590124,048136,031132,639139,187137,023157,295161,089172,994179,041197,314201,104214,512
  + Difference between EDP face value and market value -639-19-3,632-3,272-5,401-3242,99311,52516,67621,7625,0818,1371,1511,725-5,523-8,645-10,458
 Gross General Government Debt (EDP face value) 89,518101,331102,974104,544124,189123,724139,024144,164155,863158,785162,376169,226174,145180,766191,791192,459204,054
  less EDP debt instrument assets -42,823-46,216-43,711-41,950-46,697-37,419-39,689-32,908-42,726-40,902-28,214-30,839-33,175-33,627-43,602-40,249-49,137
 Net General Government Debt  46,69555,11559,26362,59477,49286,30599,335111,256113,137117,883134,162138,387140,970147,139148,189152,210154,917
General Government Net Worth (% of annualised GDP) 23.318.312.812.11.3-0.8-7.4-9.3-10.7-12.2-30.2-29.3-35.9-38.5-43.9-47.1-49.7
General Government Debt (% of annualised GDP)
Net General Government Debt (% of annualised GDP) 26.632.135.538.648.354.162.370.471.674.083.885.186.589.990.592.895.0

Background Notes

Government Finance Statistics – Concepts and Definitions

Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, in particular in relation to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). 

European GFS, including EDP statistics are produced according to the legally binding accounting rules of the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95).  The Manual on Government Debt and Deficit (MGDD) provides further guidance on the implementation of ESA95 in the context of GFS. 

The ESA95 regulation sets out both a methodology for the compilation of National Accounts and a programme of transmission of key economic aggregates which are a subset of the full set of accounts set out in ESA95.  In relation to GFS aggregates of interest include: general government revenue and expenditure, general government surplus/deficit, general government consolidated gross debt, and general government net worth as well as the main components of these measures

EU Member States are required to report government deficit/surplus and debt data biannually under the EDP (before 1 April and 1 October in year N) for years N-4 to N-1 calendar years as well as a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables, which provide a consistent framework for the presentation of this data by Member States. The tables provide a structure for linking national budgetary aggregates with government deficit and debt.

Detailed statistics on Government revenue, expenditure and financial flows and stock positions are also provided to Eurostat under the ESA95 transmission programme.  For quarterly data the main tables reported are:

Table 2500 Quarterly non-financial accounts for general government,
Table 2700 Quarterly financial accounts for general government
Table 2800 Quarterly government debt.

Total general government expenditure and revenue are defined according to Commission Regulation (EC) No 1500/2000 of 10 July 2000 on general government expenditure and revenue. They comprise specific categories of ESA95.

Definition of general government and its subsectors
The general government sector of the economy, is defined in ESA95, paragraph 2.68: 'All institutional units which are other non-market producers [institutional units whose sales do not cover more than the 50% of the production costs, see ESA95 paragraph 3.26] whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and mainly financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors, and/or all institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth'. General government comprises the sub-sectors central government (S.1311), state government (S.1312 - where applicable), local government (S.1313), and social security funds (S.1314).

As part of the GFS production process CSO is required to define the General Government and public sectors for Ireland. In this context, the public sector includes all bodies that are directly or indirectly controlled by a Government department or office, or by a local authority.  General Government, in turn, includes all public sector bodies that are also mainly financed by Government bodies.  The decision rules governing the classification of bodies to the public and General Government sectors are set out in detail in the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt.  A detailed explanation of the application of these rules and the most up-to-date list of public sector and (including general government bodies) for Ireland are shown at

General Government Deficit/Surplus
(GGDeficit) is the standard European measure of the fiscal balance, which is used to monitor compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact.  It is the difference between the revenue and the expenditure of the general government sector. The government deficit data related to the EDP (EDP B.9) differs from the deficit according to ESA95 (B.9) in the treatment of interest relating to swaps and forward rate agreements.


General Government Debt (GGDebt) is defined in the EU regulations implementing the Maastricht Treaty as the gross debt liabilities of the consolidated General Government sector, at nominal value. 
‘Gross’ means that the value of any financial assets held by General Government cannot be deducted from the GGDebt. In Ireland’s case, this means that the liquid assets which are deducted from the ‘gross’ National Debt in arriving at the audited National Debt cannot be deducted from the GGDebt. 
‘Debt liabilities’ are defined as the ESA categories AF.2 (Currency and deposits), AF.33 (Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives), and AF.4 (loans). 
This definition excludes liabilities in derivatives (AF.34), equity liabilities (AF.5), pension and insurance liabilities (AF.6) and accounts payable (AF.7). 
‘Consolidated’ means that any money owed by one entity within General Government to another is excluded from the total GGDebt. 
‘Nominal value’ is defined in the governing regulation as face value. If debt is sold at a discount, it is the undiscounted value of the instrument, rather than the amount actually received, that is shown in the GGDebt. In other statistical contexts, ‘nominal value’ means face value plus any interest accrued but not paid; however, such interest is excluded from GGDebt by definition.

General Government Net Worth is calculated as the value of the non-financial assets of General Government plus financial net worth of General Government (financial net worth equals the difference between the financial assets and liabilities of the sector). The net worth figures presented in this release are shown at market value.

ESA95 codes as given in the tables of this release and an explanation of each code are shown below for the main components of Government revenue and expenditure as well as for types of financial flows. More detailed codes and technical definitions can be seen in the ESA95 manual available at

Main Components of General Government Expenditure and Revenue
P.2      Intermediate consumption – value of goods and services used in the process of production, excluding
           fixed assets
P.5      Gross capital formation
           P.51 Gross fixed capital formation - acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed assets during a given period
           plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realised by productive activity. Fixed assets
           are tangible or intangible assets produced as outputs from processes of production that are
           themselves used repeatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for more than one year
           P.52 Changes in inventories
           P.53 Acquisitions less disposals of valuables
D.1      Compensation of employees – the total remuneration of government employees
           D.11    Wages and salaries, in cash and in kind
           D.12    Employers social contributions – actual (D.121) and imputed (D.122)
D.29    Other taxes on production (payable) all taxes that enterprises incur as a result of engaging in
           production, independently of the quantity or value of the goods and services produced or sold. These
           include taxes on use or ownership of land or buildings, taxes on use of fixed assets, taxes on total
           wage bill and payroll, taxes on international transactions related to production.
D.3      Subsidies (payable) - current unrequited payments which general government or the Institutions of
           the European Union make to resident  producers, with the objective of influencing their levels of 
           production, their prices or the remuneration of the factors of production
D.4      Property income (payable) - the income receivable by the owner of a financial asset or a tangible
           non-produced asset in return for providing funds to, or putting the tangible non-produced asset at
           the disposal of, another unit
           D.41    Interest (payable) - excludes settlements under swaps and forward rate arrangements,
           as these are treated as financial transactions in the ESA95
D.5      Current taxes on income, wealth, etc, (payable)  - all compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in
           kind, levied periodically by general government and by the rest of the world on the income and wealth
           of units in the economy, and some periodic taxes which are assessed neither on income nor wealth
D.6      Social contributions - transfers to households, in cash or in kind, intended to relieve them from the
           financial burden of a number of risks or needs, made through collectively organised schemes, or
           outside such schemes by government and non-profit institutions. These include payments from
           general government to producers which individually benefit households and which are made in the
           context of social risks or needs
           D.62    Social benefits in cash - social benefits and pensions paid in cash;
           D.631  Social transfers in kind, via market producers - can be subdivided into those where beneficiary
           households actually purchase the goods and services themselves and are then reimbursed, and those
           where the relevant services are provided directly to the beneficiaries
D.7      Other current transfers
D.9      Capital transfers - involve the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets, by at least one of the
           parties to the transaction.
K.1      Consumption of fixed capital - the amount of fixed assets used up, during the period under
           consideration, as a result of normal wear and tear and foreseeable obsolescence, including a provision
           for losses of fixed assets as a result of accidental damage which can be insured against.

           Categories of Financial Flows

F.1      Monetary gold and special drawing rights (SDRs)
           F.11 Monetary gold
           F.12 Special drawing rights (SDRs)
F.2      Currency and deposits
           F.21 Currency
           F.22 Transferable deposits
           F.29 Other deposits
F.3      Securities other than shares
           F.33 Securities other than shares, excluding financial derivatives 
           (F.331 - Short-term, F.332 - Long-term)
           F.34 Financial derivatives
F.4      Loans
           F.41 - Short-term, F.42 - Long-term
F.5      Shares and other equity
           F.51 Shares and other equity, excluding mutual funds shares (F.511 - Quoted shares,
           F.512 - Unquoted shares, F.513 - Other equity )
           F.52 Mutual funds shares
F.6      Insurance technical reserves

           F.61 Net equity of households in life insurance reserves and in pension funds reserves
           (F.611 - Net equity of households in life insurance reserves, F.612 - Net equity of households
           in pension funds reserves,
           F.62 - Prepayments of insurance premiums and reserves for outstanding claims

F.7      Other accounts receivable/payable
           F.71 Trade credits and advances
           F.79 Other


Adjustments specific to Quarter 1 2013 results

Redemption of Promissory Notes – Impact on General Government Debt and Deficit

The redemption of the promissory notes previously assigned to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in February 2013 has led to very significant changes in the composition of the GGDebt between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013. 

Under the Excessive Deficit Procedure which sets out the rules for calculating GGDebt, the promissory notes were classified as long-term loans (F.42).  Following IBRC’s liquidation in February 2013, the Central Bank acquired IBRC’s promissory note claim on the State (€25,261 million at face value).  This claim was subsequently redeemed by the State in exchange for newly created long term government bonds (‘securities other than shares’, F.332).

This transaction took place at face value, so that it did not change the overall GGDebt.  However, it resulted in an immediate shift in the composition of GGDebt of €25,261 million from long-term loans (F.42) to long-term bonds (F.332).

Promissory notes with an outstanding face value of €227 million assigned originally to EBS and now held by AIB were not affected by the redemption of IBRC’s promissory notes, and continue to be classified in the GGDebt as long-term loan liabilities.

Further changes in these categories have also arisen due to Ireland receiving further monies under the Troika Programme (long term loan – F.42) and to National Treasury Management Agency activity on the bond markets in Q1 2013.

As a consequence of all of these changes, the total debt under the category Long Term Loans has reduced by some €23,622 million while the total debt under the category Long Term Bonds has increased by €32,197 million (see Table 2 of this release and the more detailed tables available at

Meanwhile, the only impact on the GGDeficit for Q1 2013 is a minor change in interest payable arising from the difference between the interest rates payable on the promissory notes and those payable on the replacement bonds.

Reclassification of Public Universities and Fee-Paying Schools

The seven public universities and certain publicly funded fee-paying secondary schools have been reclassified from the Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) economic sector to the Non-financial corporations economic sector. This change has been made following an analysis by the CSO that these entities are ‘market producers’ – that is, they cover a majority of their costs through their own sales of education and research services – and has resulted in a number of reclassifications within the expenditure of General Government. Specifically, the changes shift expenditure from D.7 (transfers to NPISH) to a combination of

  • P.2 (government purchases of goods and services), for certain research grants deemed to represent sales of services
  • D.31 (product subsidies), for subventions directly linked to student numbers
  • D.39 (other subsidies on production) for general subventions to promote research etc.
  • D.6313 (social benefits in kind provided via market producers) for payments to universities that directly replace student fees that would otherwise be payable by the students themselves (the ‘free fees’ initiative).

These changes have been applied retroactively to all quarters, and are consistent with those seen in the recently published CSO National Income and Expenditure 2012 and Quarterly Institutional Sector Accounts releases.

upArrowHide Background Notes

Scan the QR code below to view this release online or go to