Austrian budget deficit reaches 15-year high

09:57, April 01, 2011      

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The Austrian budget deficit in 2010 reached a 15-year record high, accounting for 4.6 percent of gross domestic product, Statistics Austria said Thursday.

According to Statistics Austria, however, the major increase in the national deficit was due to the implementation of statistical standards of the EU Statistics office (Eurostat).

Because those standards are more stringent, a lot of items of debt, which could be balanced before, had to be presented. That led to a full 1 percentage point increase in the Austrian deficit compared to the one using the former standards.

Statistics Austria also said that because of the implementation of the statistical standards of Eurostat, it would be difficult for Austria to reduce its fiscal deficit below 3 percent provided by Maastricht criteria.

Both the Ministry of Finance and experts at major Austrian economic research institutes estimated that Austria could only achieve the deficit limit provided in Maastricht Treaty on European Union by 2013.

The adjusted total debt of Austria amounted to 205.2 billion euros (288.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010, and its debt rate accounted for 72.3 percent of the GDP, while according to Maastricht Treaty, which should be less than 60 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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