Statistics Estonia: General government continues in deficit in 2018

The Bank of Estonia is expecting inflation in 2019 to remain below 3%.
The Bank of Estonia is expecting inflation in 2019 to remain below 3%. Source: Scheffbuch/Caro/Scanpix

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2018 the Estonian general government deficit amounted to 0.5% and the gross debt level to 8% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Total general government expenditures exceeded revenues by €120.2 million, accounted as the Maastricht deficit criteria. While the central government ended the year in deficit, the local government sub-sector closed the year with a €43.7-million surplus. The surplus of social security funds increased for the second year in a row to €72.6 million. By the end of 2018, the deficit of central government revenue stood at €236.5 million.

The consolidated debt of the general government (Maastricht debt) amounted to slightly over €2 billion at the end of 2018, down by about 1% compared to 2017. The debt of the central government increased, while the local government debt level decreased. At the end of 2018, the central government debt totalled €2.3 billion, of which €981 million were liabilities towards other sub-sectors.

The share of foreign debt in the central government's loan liabilities was 54%. Long-term loan liabilities increased by 2% year on year. At the end of 2018, the volume of long-term securities issued by public legal institutions, foundations and enterprises belonging to the central government was €48.5 million, down by 51% compared to the previous year.

The overall debt level of the local government sub-sector decreased by 3% compared to 2017 and stood at €700 million at the end of the year. The volume of long-term securities dropped by 12%, and loan liabilities decreased by 0.3% year on year. Liabilities towards the rest of the world accounted for 23% of the local government debt.

Social security funds did not contribute to the debt of the general government sector, Statistics Estonia wrote in its Tuesday press release.

Estonia's general government sector is made up of three sub-sectors, namely central government (state budget units and extra-budgetary funds, foundations, legal persons in public law), local governments (city and rural municipality governments with their subsidiary units, foundations) and the country's social security funds (the Health Insurance and Unemployment Insurance funds).

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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