Government deficit and debt (gov_dd)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. ContactTop
1.1. Contact organisationEurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unitD1: GFS methodology, data collection and dissemination
1.5. Contact mail addressL-2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata updateTop
2.1. Metadata last certified10/09/2009
2.2. Metadata last posted11/09/2009
2.3. Metadata last update28/10/2013


3. Statistical presentationTop
3.1. Data description

Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, most notably for the statistics related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). The EDP is established in the Treaty and specified in the Stability and Growth Pact legislation. The Member States report data related to the EDP to the Commission (Eurostat) which, in turn, is responsible for providing the data to the Council. 

European GFS, including the statistics for the EDP, are produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95), the EU manual for national accounts, supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat, in particular the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt

Council Regulation 479/2009 as amended requires that Member States report government deficit/surplus (hereinafter deficit) and debt data related to the EDP twice per year: before 1 April and 1 October for the preceding four calendar years and a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables. These tables are designed specifically to provide a consistent framework, with a link to national budgetary aggregates and between the deficit and changes in the debt. They should be fully consistent with GFS data delivered to Eurostat in the ESA95 transmission programme. 

The EDP notification tables contain for general government and its sub sectors:

  • Table 1: Summary table on deficit and debt, including auxiliary indicators (Gross Fixed Capital Formation, Interest and Gross Domestic Product - GDP)
  • Tables 2A - 2D: Transition from the working balance to the deficit/surplus for general government sub sectors
  • Tables 3A - 3E: Transition from the deficit/surplus to the change in debt for general government and its sub sectors
  • Table 4: Supplementary data.  

The data are presented in the Eurostat's Statistics Database in national currency, euro/ECU, and percentage of GDP.

Croatia: the deficit and debt data are available only for 2009-2012 as Croatia is currently working on the pre-2009 series. Eurostat will publish the pre-2009 series of Croatia as soon as possible.

3.2. Classification system

The classification system is defined in ESA95: classification of institutional sectors and classification of transactions, other flows and balance sheet items (assets/liabilities).

3.3. Coverage - sector

Data covers the consolidated general government sector (S.13) and its sub-sectors.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The concepts for EDP statistics are explained in Council Regulation (EC) N° 479/2009, as amended and Council Regulation (EC) N° 2223/96 (ESA95) and subsequent legal amendments, supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat, in particular the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt

The government deficit/surplus is the net borrowing/net lending (B.9) of general government as defined in the ESA95. It is the difference between the revenue and the expenditure of the general government sector. The government deficit data related to the EDP (EDP B.9) differs from the deficit according ESA95 (B.9) for the treatment of interest relating to swaps and forward rate agreements. The government debt is defined as the total consolidated gross debt at nominal value at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4). At the national level, data for the general government sector are consolidated between sub sectors. The debt of the Euro area and EU aggregates is consolidated by removal of the loans that Member States have granted to other Member States. 

The working balance is the most often used concept and measure of the country's budget deficit/surplus as it generally appears in public accounts and budgetary presentations. In other words, for example, for central government it should normally correspond to the budgetary outcome voted by the parliament.

The deficit and debt data are reported by sub sectors of general government: central government (S.1311), state government (S.1312), local government (S.1313) and social security funds (S.1314). 

The transition from the working balance to the deficit/surplus (EDP tables 2A - 2D) is explained by the following items, based on example for central government:

  • Financial transactions included in the working balance
  • Non-financial transactions not included in the working balance
  • Difference between interest paid and accrued (EDP_D.41)
  • Other accounts receivable / other accounts payable
  • Working balance of entities not part of central government
  • Net borrowing or net lending of other central government bodies
  • Other adjustments.

The transition from the deficit/surplus to the change in debt is explained by the following items:

  • Net acquisition of financial assets: Currency and deposits (F.2), Securities other than shares (F.3), Loans (F.4), Shares and other equity (F.5), Other financial assets (F.1, F.6 and F.7)
  • Net incurrence of liabilities in financial derivatives (F.34)
  • Net incurrence of other liabilities (F.5, F.6 and F.7)
  • Issuances above/below nominal value
  • Difference between interest (EDP_D.41) accrued and paid
  • Redemptions of debt above/below nominal value
  • Appreciation/depreciation of foreign-currency debt
  • Changes in sector classification (K.12.1)
  • Other volume changes in financial liabilities (K.7, K.8, K.10)
  • Difference between capital and financial accounts (B.9-B.9f) and other statistical discrepancies.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit is an institutional unit as defined in ESA95. The institutional units are grouped to general government sector and its sub-sectors.

3.6. Statistical population

General government sector and its sub-sectors.

3.7. Reference area
  • EU and euro area (EA) aggregates: EU25, EU27, EA16, and EA17.
  • EU Member States
  • Other countries: Croatia (HR), Turkey (TR), Norway (NO) and Iceland (IS).
3.8. Coverage - Time

Data for the EU and euro area aggregates and the EU Member States are generally available from 1995. Time series are generally shorter for other countries.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measureTop

National currency, euro/ECU, and percentage of GDP.


5. Reference PeriodTop

The reference period is calendar year. Stocks (such as debt) are as at the end of the calendar year.


6. Institutional MandateTop
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

National accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA95) adopted in the form of a Council Regulation (EC) dated 25 June 1996, N° 2223/96.  

For EDP statistics, the legal basis is the Council Regulation (EC) N° 479/2009 as amended on the application of the Protocol on the Excessive Deficit Procedure annexed to the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty). The provisions on the Excessive Deficit Procedure (Maastricht Treaty) are extended by the Stability and Growth Pact in the context of the Amsterdam Treaty.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Data may be circulated within the European Institutions, especially the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Council ahead of release.


7. ConfidentialityTop
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Data are treated as confidential after reporting, during the validation process, until the news release.


8. Release policyTop
8.1. Release calendar

The EDP statistics of the euro area, EU27 and the Member States are published in the Eurostat's news release and the Statistics Database twice per year (April and October). The precise date of data release is disseminated on Eurostat's website.

8.2. Release calendar access

The dissemination calendar is released at Eurostat's website.

8.3. Release policy - user access

Data are disseminated simultaneously to all interested parties through a database update and on Eurostat's website.

Data for EU countries: Data may be circulated within the European Institutions, especially the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Council ahead of release. National governments may release their national data beforehand, though the data remain subject to verification by Eurostat.


9. Frequency of disseminationTop

Bi-annual.


10. Dissemination formatTop
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

All publications on government finance statistics are available on the dedicated section (GFS) of Eurostat's website.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on GFS Main Tables and GFS Database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Comments may be made by the European Commission or EU Member States on the occasion of the release of EU data.

See also: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

The government deficit data related to the EDP (EDP B.9) differs from the deficit according ESA95 (B.9) for the treatment of interest relating to swaps and forward rate agreements.

For the years not covered by the latest EDP notification (which provides data back to year t-4), the series EDP B.9 may differ from the data in General government main aggregates. In this case the data in the General government main aggregates domain are normally more reliable.

GDP used as denominator in the government debt table published on "Imbalance scoreboard" website comes from the ESA95 transmission programme, not from EDP submissions, thus the differences between the EDP debt and Scoreboard debt as % GDP may arise as a result of different timetables in the transmission of the revised GDP data.

Please consult the news releases for information on the reservations and amendments by Eurostat to the individual countries' data.


11. Accessibility of documentationTop
11.1. Documentation on methodology

The methodology for EDP statistics is set out in the Council Regulation (EC) N° 479/2009, as amended and Council Regulation (EC) N° 2223/96 (ESA95) and subsequent legal amendments, supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat, in particular Manual on Government Deficit and Debt.

11.2. Quality management - documentation

See the page "Quality reports" of the dedicated section (GFS) of Eurostat's website. Also, the page "EDP Inventories" presents descriptions of the sources and methods used for compiling the reported EDP data, as required by Council Regulation (EC) N° 479/2009 as amended.


12. Quality managementTop
12.1. Quality assurance

Quality of data is assured by adherence to the ESA95 and ESA95 Manual on Government Deficit and Debt and by the validation of the Member States' data by Eurostat.

12.2. Quality management - assessment

See the page "Quality reports" of the dedicated section (GFS) of Eurostat's website.


13. RelevanceTop
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

Users of the EDP data: the European Commission (for purposes of the Stability and Growth Pact), the Council, the European Parliament, researchers, politicians, etc. 

The main purpose of collecting these data is to ensure that high quality data is provided to the main user, the European Commission, to undertake its activities in surveying the Stability and Growth Pact.

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat is in constant dialogue with the main users and the national statistical institutes in order to improve the EDP data.

13.3. Completeness

All data required by Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2009, as amended, are available.


14. AccuracyTop
14.1. Accuracy - overall

Not available.

14.2. Sampling error

Not available.

14.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.


15. Timeliness and punctualityTop
15.1. Timeliness

Council Regulation 479/2009 as amended requires that Member States report government deficit and debt data related to the EDP twice per year: before 1 April and before 1 October.

15.2. Punctuality

Member States normally meet the deadlines.


16. ComparabilityTop
16.1. Comparability - geographical

Data are comparable across Europe, as harmonised European rules (ESA95, and ESA95 Manual on government deficit and debt) are used by all Member States for compiling the EDP data.

16.2. Comparability - over time

Comparability over time is ensured.


17. CoherenceTop
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

Council Regulation 479/2009 as amended requires consistency of reported EDP data with the GFS data delivered to Eurostat in the ESA95 transmission programme. This consistency is verified by Eurostat in the course of validation of the Member States' EDP data.

17.2. Coherence - internal

Consistency is ensured within and between the EDP tables reported by the Member States.


18. Cost and BurdenTop

Not available.


19. Data revisionTop
19.1. Data revision - policy

Data are revised as necessary, in line with national accounts principles. At the time of each EDP notification Member States can revise years back to t-4 and must inform Eurostat about details of revisions since the previous EDP notification:

- size of revisions

- sub sector of general government

- what is the type of revisions: revisions to source data, methodological revisions or elimination of possible errors.

Data for earlier years (before t-4) are revised in the database by Eurostat whenever Member States provide revised data.

19.2. Data revision - practice

Under the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), the data reported before 1 April are preliminary since revised annual data are notified before 1 October. These revisions may affect all reported years. Further revisions may be necessary due to updated data sources or other reasons.

Major changes in methodology may occur as a result of EU legislation or Eurostat decisions (following a consultation procedure with Member States). Major changes in methodology which occur at the national level to comply with existing EU requirements, may be mentioned in Eurostat's news release.


20. Statistical processingTop
20.1. Source data

Data are based on annual national accounts of general government, derived primarily from administrative and other records of general government. Basic data are in national currency.

20.2. Frequency of data collection

Twice per year.

20.3. Data collection

Data are collected primarily from administrative reports, but sometimes also with statistical surveys (especially for extra budgetary units and local government units etc.).

20.4. Data validation

Eurostat validates data twice per year during the period of three weeks after the EDP notification by the Member States. The validation process consists of arithmetic and quality checks as well as checks on consistency with ESA95 methodology and with the GFS data delivered to Eurostat in the ESA95 transmission programme.

20.5. Data compilation

Valuation principles are in accordance with ESA 95. However, debt is recorded at nominal (face) value. Foreign currency debt is converted into national currency using end-year market exchange rates (though special rules apply to contractual agreements). The debt of the Euro area and EU aggregates is consolidated by removal of the loans that Member States have granted for support operations to other Member States.

Data are in principle compiled on an accrual basis, according to ESA 95 rules. For recording of taxes and social contributions, the common principles of ESA 95 are modified by Commission Regulation (EC) N° 995/01 implementing EP and Council Regulation (EC) N° 2516/00.

For series transmitted in national currencies other than Euro, the data are converted by Eurostat into Euro using annual average exchange rates (supplied by ECB) in the case of general government flows (net borrowing/net lending, gross fixed capital formation etc.). Eurostat converts national currency into Euro using end-year exchange rates (supplied by ECB) in the case of general government debt and its breakdown by financial instrument.

Ratios as a percentage of GDP are based on annual GDP data submitted to Eurostat in the EDP notification (for years going back to t-4), and from GDP reporting to Eurostat (for earlier years). GDP is gross domestic product at current market prices, as defined in ESA95 (B.1*g).

GDP used as denominator in the government debt table published on "Imbalance scoreboard" website comes from the ESA95 transmission programme, not from EDP submissions, thus the differences between the EDP debt and Scoreboard debt as % GDP may arise as a result of different timetables in the transmission of the revised GDP data.

Euro area and EU aggregates are formed by the aggregation of the country data in Euro (ECU), with consolidation where appropriate.

20.6. Adjustment

Please consult the news releases for information on the reservations and amendments by Eurostat to the individual countries' data.


21. CommentTop

The government deficit data related to the EDP (EDP B.9) differs from the deficit according ESA95 (B.9) for the treatment of interest relating to swaps and forward rate agreements.

For the years not covered by the latest EDP notification (which provides data back to year t-4), the series EDP B.9 may differ from the data in General government main aggregates. In this case the data in the General government main aggregates domain are normally more reliable.

GDP used as denominator in the government debt table published on "Imbalance scoreboard" website comes from the ESA95 transmission programme, not from EDP submissions, thus the differences between the EDP debt and Scoreboard debt as % GDP may arise as a result of different timetables in the transmission of the revised GDP data.

Please consult the news releases for information on the reservations and amendments by Eurostat to the individual countries' data.

Croatia: the deficit and debt data are available only for 2009-2012 as Croatia is currently working on the pre-2009 series. Eurostat will publish the pre-2009 series of Croatia as soon as possible.


Related metadataTop
gov_dd_sgd_esms - Structure of government debt
gov_a_main_esms - Government revenue, expenditure and main aggregates


AnnexesTop