The most recent calculations made by Statistics Netherlands indicate that last year’s public deficit and public debt are in fact lower than the first estimate dating back to March suggested. In the current calculation, the nationalisation of SNS REAAL is incorporated in the deficit in a different manner, new international guidelines are applied and the most recent data available are used.
Public deficit as well as public debt down
The public deficit over 2013 is now estimated at 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is further below the European benchmark of 3 percent than in the first estimate in March (2.5 percent).
The public debt over 2013 is now also lower, i.e. 68.6 percent of the GDP instead of 73.5 percent. So, the gap between the actual government debt and the 60-percent benchmark has narrowed.
Public deficit and public debt
New directives and new data bring public deficit down
The adoption of new international directives, (-0.2 percentage points), the availability of new data (-0.2 percentage points) and the different manner in which the nationalisation of SNS REAAL (+0.2 percentage points) is incorporated in the calculation of the public deficit account for the difference of 0.2 percentage points between the first and second estimates.
The effect of the nationalisation of SNS REAAL on the deficit was not included in March because - at the time - Statistics Netherlands and Eurostat were still debating how the new directives should be properly applied. Meanwhile, it has become clear that the 3.8 billion euros bailouts to SNS REAAL and Propertize, the organisation engaged in property financing which was split off from SNS REAAL in 2013 have an effect of 1.1 billion euros on the public deficit , i.e. 0.2 percent of the GDP in 2013.
New international directives regarding national accounts and the public deficit, which have now been applied for the first time, have a dual effect on the public deficit. Firstly, revenues and expenses of interest swaps are no longer included in the deficit. As a result, the deficit over 2013 is reduced by 0.4 billion euros (nearly 0.1 percent). Secondly, the new directives for national accounts lead to a higher GDP, which has a downward effect on the deficit expressed as a percentage of the GDP. The effect thereof for 2013 is nearly 0.2 percent.
Public revenue and public spending