General government balance and debt

The general government balance (EMU balance) is the overall difference between government revenues and expenditure. Revenues and expenditure are recorded on an accrual basis, i.e. in the year in which economic value is created, transformed or cancelled, or when a right or obligation is created, changed or cancelled. In the case of expenditure exceeding revenues there is a government deficit, public deficit or budget deficit.

Government debt (also referred to as EMU debt) is the government debt valued at nominal value (not market value). So-called trade credit and other accounts receivable/payable are not included, neither are mutual debts among Dutch authorities.

Data in this news release have been compiled on the basis of European directives on drawing up the national accounts (ESR2010) and additional European rules for determining government deficit and government debt.