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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Government Finance Statistics - Annual

2014 to 2019 (October 2020 Results)

End of yearGeneral Government     GDP
        Balance      Gross Debt      Net Debt 
 €bn% GDP€bn% GDP€bn% GDP€bn

General Government surplus of 0.5% of GDP in 2019

Figure 1 General Government Deficit, Gross Debt and Net Debt
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For 2019 the general government surplus was €1.9 billion (0.5% of GDP). In 2019 revenue increased by €5.0 billion while expenditure increased by €3.5 billion, resulting in an improvement of €1.5 billion over the 2018 surplus - see release Infographic.

2019 saw increases in both government revenues (+5.9%) and expenditures (+4.2%) (Table 1).  At the end of 2019 government revenues were €89.1 billion.  The upward trend in tax and social contribution continued with increases of €4.1 billion (+6.7%) in Taxes and €0.9 billion (+6.0%) in Social contributions (Tables 1 and 3).

The main drivers behind the increase in government expenditure in 2019 to €87.3 billion were Compensation of employees (i.e. pay) (+5.0%), Social benefits (+3.8%) and Gross fixed capital formation (+25.7%). Debt service costs, or Interest, continued to decrease in 2019 (-16.2%) (Tables 1 and 4).

Government debt falls to 57.4% of GDP in 2019

The general government gross debt (GG debt) stood at €204.2 billion at the end of 2019 (57.4% of GDP), down from the 2018 figure of €205.9 billion (63.0% of GDP). The GDP ratio has fallen below the threshold level of 60% set in the Stability and Growth Pact. The increase in GDP in 2019 was the primary driver in the decrease of the debt to GDP ratio as the nominal debt level decreased by €1.7 billion in the period (Table 2).

On the assets side of the State’s balance sheet, financial assets decreased by €0.5 billion during 2019. This decline was principally caused by falls of €2.2 billion and €2.4 billion in loans and equity respectively that were offset by a combined rise of €4.1 billion in all other asset classes.

On the liability side of the balance sheet, total liabilities at market value grew by €1.9 billion, largely as a result of increased borrowing (currency and deposits, debt securities and loans) of €2.1 billion in the year to end 2019 (Table 6). This growth in debt was partially offset by a reduction in all other liabilities of €0.2 billion.

At the end of 2019 general government net debt decreased by €1.5 billion to €175.8 billion (49.4% of GDP).  General government gross debt decreased by €1.7 billion, comprised of falls in loans (€1.6 billion) and debt securities (€0.7 billion) partly offset by a small rise in currency and deposits (€0.6 billion)(Tables 2 and 7).


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

This release contains the detailed tables as referenced in the provisional release published on 12 October 2020 and are aligned with the October 2020 Excessive Deficit Procedure notification. Any revisions to previous years reflect updated data sources or changes in methodology - see Background notes.

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

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 22 October, the same day as the Eurostat release of EDP statistics.

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

A full description of the concepts and definitions used in the production of these statistics is provided in the Background notes.