The deficit thus ended a three-year streak of surplus.
For comparison’s sake in 2019 the government generated a consolidated government surplus of HRK 1.2 billion or 0.3% of GDP while in 2018 it amounted to HRK 863 million or 0.2% of GDP and in 2017, the surplus was HRK 2.8 billion or 0.8% of GDP.
The general government budget deficit occurred in 2020 mostly due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic for the national economy, which required the government’s support measures to offset the impact.
The consolidated government debt in 2020 reached HRK 329.7 billion or 88.7% of GDP after that debt had gradually decreased for several years, the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) said in the report.
At the end of 2019 the general government debt amounted to HRK 292.9 billion, which accounted for 72.8% of GDP. In 2018 it was HRK 286.3 billion or 74.3% of GDP and in 2017 it was HRK 285.1 billion or 77.6% of GDP.
The general government debt increased by HRK 36.8 billion in 2020 or 12.6% year on year with HRK 32.8 billion being net loans and the remainder attributed to depreciation of the kuna currency exchange rate against the euro, DZS says in the report.
RBA: Results better than expected
Commenting on the latest DZS report, Raiffeisenbank Bank Austria (RBA) analysts underscored that the budget gap of HRK 27.5 billion is better than had been expected.
They also attributed the noticeable deterioration in fiscal metrics to the consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a double-digit contraction in budget revenue while at the same time generating an increase in general government spending.
The total consolidated government revenue in 2020 amounted to HRK 178.5 billion, which is a decrease of HRK 12.5 billion or 6.5% while at the same time expenditure amounted to HRK 205.9 billion, which is HRK 11.3 billion or 8.6% more y-o-y.
(€1 = HRK 7.567595)
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