General government deficit decreased

Posted on 25 March 2020, 10:00

According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the Estonian general government deficit was 0.3% and the gross debt level was 8% of the gross domestic product.

At the end of 2019, the total expenditures of the general government exceeded the revenues by 90.4 million euros. The central government as well as the local government sub-sector closed the year in deficit by 131.0 and 31.1 million euros, respectively. The surplus of social security funds, however, remained near the level of 2018 at 71.7 million euros.

The consolidated debt of the general government (Maastricht debt) amounted to nearly 2.4 billion euros by the end of 2019, having increased by 9% compared to 2018. The debt of the central government and the local government debt level increased. Long-term loan liabilities increased by 9% year on year.

The central government debt totalled 2.7 billion euros, of which 1.1 billion euros were liabilities towards other sub-sectors. The share of foreign debt in the central government’s loan liabilities was 50%. Foreign debt increased due to the issuance of securities and a loan taken from the European Investment Bank. At the end of 2019, the volume of long-term securities issued by the public legal institutions, foundations and enterprises belonging to the central government remained at 48.5 million euros. In 2019, also short-term securities were issued, and the volume at the end of the year was 100.2 million euros.

The overall debt level of the local government sub-sector increased by 2% compared to 2018 and was 752.1 million euros. The volume of long-term securities dropped by 32% and loan liabilities increased by 11% year on year. Liabilities towards the rest of the world accounted for 41% 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 2020.