Government finance statistics (GFS)
show the economic activities of government, including:
- government revenue
- government expenditure
- government deficit
- transactions in assets
- transactions in liabilities
- other economic flows
- balance sheets
The GFS presentation is similar to that of business accounting where the profit and loss accounts and the balance sheet are presented together, in a linked manner.
The emphasis is on the economic substance over the legal form of the event. Hence GFS differ noticeably from the budget or public accounting presentations that are nationally specific as far as scope of units and recording of transactions are concerned.
European GFS are produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA 95), the EU manual for national accounts, supplemented by further interpretation and guidance from Eurostat.
GFS form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, most notably for the statistics related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP).