Eurozone deficits shrinking but public debt continues to mount

PUBLIC deficits in the Eurozone fell to three per cent of GDP in 2013, hitting the level that individual member states must aim for under the bloc’s rules.

Official figures released yesterday show that on average, the countries’ deficits dropped from 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2012, while total public debt rose to the equivalent of 92.6 per cent of GDP.

But many Eurozone countries still have deficits well above the three per cent mark: Spain, France and Portugal have deficits equal to 7.1, 4.3 and 4.9 per cent of GDP respectively.

Greece’s deficit rose back to 12.7 per cent according to Eurostat, but the country’s finance ministry boasted that the deficit had fallen to 2.1 per cent, excluding spending to recapitalise the country’s frail banking system.