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. When expenditure exceeds revenues, this is referred to as a ‘government deficit’ or ‘budget deficit’.
Government debt (also referred to as EMU debt) is the government debt valued at nominal value (not market value). The so-called commercial credits and accruals do not form part of government debt. Mutual debts among different levels of government are also not included.
Data in this news release have been compiled on the basis of the European framework for the national accounts, ESR 2010 and additional rules for calculation of the public deficit and public debt.