Government Finance Statistics

The Government Finance Statistics (GFS) show the economic activities of government, including:

  • government total revenue
  • government total expenditure
  • government balance, i.e. surplus (+)/deficit (-), referred to in national accounts terminology as net lending (+)/net borrowing (-)
  • transactions in financial assets and liabilities
  • other changes in assets and liabilities (other changes in volume and revaluation)
  • balance sheets


The GFS presentation is similar to that of business accounting where the profit and loss accounts and the balance sheet are presented together, in an integrated manner.

The emphasis is on the economic substance over the legal form of the event. Hence GFS differ noticeably from the budget or public accounting presentations that are nationally specific as far as scope of units and recording of transactions are concerned.

The European GFS are produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010), which is the European version of the national accounts (2008 SNA), supplemented by further interpretation and guidance documentation from Eurostat.


The GFS form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, together with the statistics related to the excessive deficit procedure (EDP).


EDP statistics

Eurostat collects and publishes statistics on government deficit and debt of the EU Member States, based on figures reported by the Member States.


The EDP statistics are reported in harmonised tables – EDP Notification Tables. These tables are designed specifically to provide a consistent framework, with a link to national budgetary aggregates and between the government net lending/net borrowing and changes in government debt.


The Commission uses the EDP statistics to assess whether EU Member States' government deficits and debt levels comply with the relevant EU legislation.


EDP statistics should be fully consistent with the GFS data supplied through the ESA 2010 Transmission Programme.


List of the common acronyms