General government balance and debt

The government balance (or EMU balance) is the overall difference between government revenue and expenditure. Revenue and expenditure are thereby recorded in the year when economic value is created, changed or lost, or when a right or obligation arises, has been changed or cancelled. When expenditure exceeds revenues, this is referred to as a ‘government deficit’ or ‘budget deficit’.
Public debt (or EMU debt) is the government debt at nominal value (not at market value). The so-called commercial credits and accruals do not form part of government debt. Debts between the various levels of government in the Netherlands are also excluded.

The data in this news release are drawn up on the basis of European directives for national accounts (ESR 2010) and supplementary European rules for the definition of government deficit and government debt.