TALLINN – The Estonian general government deficit was 0.5 percent and the gross debt level was 8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
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, Statistics Estonia said.
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, that is the Maastricht debt, amounted to slightly over 2 billion euros by the end of 2018, having decreased by about 1 percent 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 totaled 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 percent. Long-term loan liabilities increased by 2 percent 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 percent compared to the previous year.
The overall debt level of the local government sub-sector decreased by 3 percent compared to 2017 and stood at 0.7 billion euros at the end of 2018. The volume of long-term securities dropped by 12 percent and loan liabilities decreased by 0.3 percent year on year. Liabilities towards the rest of the world accounted for 23 percent 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, that is the central government, which includes state budget units and extra-budgetary funds, foundations, legal persons in public law; local governments, including city and rural municipality governments with their subsidiary units, foundations; and social security funds, which include the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Eurostat publishes the data on the preliminary debt and deficit levels of the member states on April 22, 2019.