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Eurozone government deficit, debt narrow in 2016

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Staff Writer | April 25, 2017
Euro area government deficit and debt to GDP ratios narrowed further in 2016, data from the Eurostat showed.
Europe growth
Europe   The government debt to GDP ratio
Eurozone's government deficit to GDP ratio declined to 1.5% from 2.1% in 2015. The corresponding ratio for EU28 dropped to 1.7% from 2.4%.

The government debt to GDP ratio for euro area fell to 89.2% from 90.3% in 2015. The EU28 debt ratio eased to 83.5% from 84.9%.

The Maastricht treaty thresholds for government debt and deficit are 3% and 60% of GDP, respectively.

Among EU member states, Luxembourg, Malta, Sweden, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and the Netherlands, Estonia and Lithuania registered a government surplus, while Bulgaria and Latvia reported a government balance. Ireland, Croatia and Denmark logged the lowest deficits.

Meanwhile, deficits of Spain, France, Romania and the UK were above or equal to the Maastricht limit of 3%.

Debt ratios were lowest in Estonia, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Denmark. Sixteen member states had ratios above 60% with the highest in Greece at 179% of GDP.

Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Belgium also recorded significantly high debt ratios.

The statistical agency expressed a reservation on the quality of data reported by Luxembourg and maintained those on Belgium and Hungary. Eurostat withdrew the reservations on Cyprus' data.