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Public finances are improving

EU governments on the whole improved their budgetary positions in structural terms (i.e. excluding one-off factors) by 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2013, 0.2 percentage points better than targeted.

 Change in structural balance (pp of GDP) in EU Member States in 2013


 Source: The 2014 Stability and Convergence Programmes: An Overview


The graph plots the change in the structural balance according to the Commission 2014 spring forecast. UK figures have been computed according to the financial year.

21 out of the EU’s 28 Member States improved their finances.

The Czech Republic, Spain, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Ireland achieved the biggest improvements (over 1% of GDP). 

The graph was published in The 2014 Stability and Convergence Programmes: An Overview. The paper provides an overview of Member States' 2014 Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs), with a focus on fiscal consolidation plans over 2013-2017.

It serves as background for the examination of the SCPs against the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact and provides a global, aggregated view of fiscal policy plans in the Union and the euro area as a whole.

Note: Greece and Cyprus did not submit SCPs under the European Semester in 2013 due to being in adjustment programmes.

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