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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Government Finance Statistics Quarterly Results

Quarter 3 2019

General Government Finances
  Balance Gross Debt Net Debt
 % quarterly % annualised% annualised
 €bnGDP€bn GDP€bn GDP
2018 Q1-1.8-2.3210.368.5177.657.8
2018 Q2-0.6-0.8214.668.3177.056.3
2018 Q3-1.6-1.8215.867.2177.855.4
2018 Q44.14.9206.063.6177.954.9
2019 Q1-1.6-1.9215.065.4178.954.4
2019 Q21.51.9213.763.9175.952.6
2019 Q3-0.6-0.7212.962.6175.651.6
2018 Q1-Q3-3.9-1.6    
2019 Q1-Q3-0.7-0.3    

Government deficit of €0.7 billion in the first nine months of 2019

Figure 1 General Government Deficit
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The government recorded a deficit of €0.7 billion (-0.3% of GDP) in the first nine months of 2019. This compares with a deficit of €3.9 billion (-1.6% of GDP) for the same period last year (Table 1).

In the first nine months of 2019, government revenue increased by €4.4 billion (+7.9%) compared with the same period of 2018. The main driving factor was an 8.1% increase in Taxes and social contributions  (Tables 1 and 3).

Expenditure levels of government increased by €1.2 billion (+1.9%) when comparing the first nine months of 2019 and 2018. Increases in Compensation of employees/pay (+4.4%), Use of goods and services (+4.6%) and Social benefits (+2.7%) were partially offset by a decrease in Interest (-16.9%) (Tables 1 and 4).

Government Gross Debt at 62.6% of GDP at end Q3 2019

General Government Gross Debt (GG Debt) stood at €212.9 billion (62.6% of annualised GDP) at the end of September 2019, compared with a debt level of €215.8 billion (67.2%) at end Q3 2018. The fall in the ratio was mainly due to an increase in GDP over the year (Table 2). The gross debt per capita at the end of Q3 2019 stood at €43,266 (Figure 3).

At the end of September 2019, General Government Net Debt was €175.6 billion (51.6% of annualised GDP) compared with €177.8 billion (55.4%) at end Q3 2018. 

The market value of Equity and Investment Fund Shares fell by €6.1 billion over the same period. This decrease in the value of the investment portfolio was caused by a combination of net sales of these assets (€2.7 billion) and stock market losses (€3.4 billion) predominantly due to shares held by the State in Irish banks (Tables 2, 5 and 6). Quarter on quarter the value of the State's investment portfolio fell by €2.6 billion and, again, this was driven largely by the fall in market valuation of the Irish banks in which the State holds shares.



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

For this publication data for Q1 and Q2 2019 have been revised due to increased data availability. Pre-2019 data remains unchanged to that published in the 2019 Q2 publication on 18 October 2019.

Pre-2019 Government Finance Statistics (GFS) are benchmarked to the most recent EDP notification as published on 18 October 2019.  Consequently, they may not always be fully aligned with the National Income and Expenditure and related publications such as the Institutional Sector Accounts and the Quarterly National Accounts.

The calculation methods for quarterly GFS are similar to those used in deriving the annual GFS. As some of the available sources are of lesser reliability than those used for the annual GFS, 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 statistics is provided in the Background notes.