General government balance back in surplus
According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2014, the Estonian general government surplus was 0.6 percent and the gross debt level was 10.6 percent of the GDP.
At the end of 2014, the total revenues of the central government exceeded the expenditures by 112.7 million euros. Both the balance of the central and local governments improved. The deficit of the local government sector decreased over the year, amounting to a deficit of only 4.5 million euros at the end of 2014.
The consolidated debt of the central government (know as the Maastricht debt) amounted to 2.1 billion euros by the end of 2014, having risen 10 percent compared to 2013.
The local governments as well as the central government contributed to the growth of the debt level. The loan liabilities of the central government rose by 11 percent, while the volume of long-term securities issued by the public-legal institutions and foundations belonging to the central government decreased by 28 percent. The share of foreign debt in the central government’s loan liabilities was nearly 84 percent.
The Estonian involvement in the European temporary rescue mechanism, EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) increased by 26.4 million euros. At the end of 2014, the liabilities towards the EFSF totalled 485 million euros, 81 percent of which went for the participation in the rescue package for Greece, 12 percent for Portugal and 8 percent for Ireland.
The overall debt level of the local governments grew by 12 percent compared to 2013 and nearly a quarter of the loans were financed by foreign capital. While the volume of long-term loans increased 13 percent over the year, the volume of short-term loans decreased nearly three times.
As at the end of 2014, social security funds did not contribute to the debt of the general government sector.