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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Government Finance Statistics Quarterly Results

Quarter 1 2018

 General Government Finances
  Surplus/Deficit Gross Debt Net Debt
 % quarterly % annualised% annualised
 €mGDP€m GDP€m GDP
2016 Q1-1,796-2.7207,21978.5173,92765.9
2016 Q23680.6200,42175.5173,24165.2
2016 Q3-1,508-2.2202,49476.0174,24465.4
2016 Q41,5232.0200,67873.4175,98764.4
2017 Q1-1,267-1.9208,56975.8176,80464.3
2017 Q2-125-0.2211,28075.5172,61961.7
2017 Q3-1,812-2.3210,97972.9173,15059.8
2017 Q42,1702.7201,30268.4174,45459.3
2018 Q1-1,516-2.0210,22169.3176,08658.1

Government deficit of €1.5 billion in Q1 2018

Figure 1 General Government Deficit
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The government recorded a deficit of €1.5 billion (-2.0% of quarterly GDP) in the first quarter of 2018 (Table 1).

Government revenue amounted to €17.8 billion, up from €17.4 billion in quarter 1 2017.  This increase was mainly due to increases in Taxes and Social contributions (+3.7%).  Investment income fell by €224 million.

Government expenditure for quarter 1 2018 was €19.3 billion, an increase of €657 million (+3.5%) on the same period last year.  This increase is mainly due to Compensation of employees/Pay (+5.6%) and Use of goods and services (+4.5%) (Tables 1 and 4).

Government Gross Debt at 69.3% of GDP at end Q1 2018

General Government Gross Debt (GG Debt) was €210.2 billion (69.3% of GDP) at the end of quarter 1 2018 (Tables 2 and 7). This compares with a debt level of 68.4% of GDP at the end of quarter 4 2017. The rise in the debt ratio is due mainly to increased net issuance of bonds (Debt securities, F.3) of approximately €8.2 billion.

At the end of March 2018, General Government Net Debt was €176.1 billion (58.1% of GDP).  This represents an improvement on the net debt level of a year earlier which stood at €176.8 billion (64.3% of GDP).  While nominal debt rose by €1.7 billion during this period, assets increased by €2.4 billion in the same period, driven primarily by the receipt into the Exchequer in quarters 2 and 3 of 2017 of the proceeds from the sale of AIB shares (Equity and investment fund shares, F.5) held by the State (Tables 2 and 6).

These quarterly data are aligned with the Quarterly National Accounts published on 19 July 2018. The changes to the tables reflect updated data sources.

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.