General government continued in deficit
According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2018, the Estonian general government deficit was 0.5% and the gross debt level was 8% of the gross domestic product.
At the end of 2018, the total expenditures of the general government exceeded the revenues by 120.2 million euros, accounted as the Maastricht deficit criteria. While the central government ended the year in deficit, the local government sub-sector closed the year in surplus by 43.7 million euros and the surplus of social security funds increased for the second year in a row to 72.6 million euros. By the end of 2018, the deficit of the central government revenues stood at 236.5 million euros.
The consolidated debt of the general government (Maastricht debt) amounted to slightly over 2 billion euros by the end of 2018, having decreased by about 1% compared to 2017. The debt of the central government increased, while the local government debt level dropped. At the end of 2018, the central government debt totalled 2.3 billion euros, of which 981 million euros 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 the public legal institutions, foundations and enterprises belonging to the central government was 48.5 million euros and it decreased 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 0.7 billion euros at the end of 2018. 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.
In Estonia, the general government sector comprises three sub-sectors: 1) central government (state budget units and extra-budgetary funds, foundations, legal persons in public law); 2) local governments (city and rural municipality governments with their subsidiary units, foundations); 3) social security funds (Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund).Eurostat publishes the data on the preliminary debt and deficit levels of the Member States on 22 April 2019.