Government deficit restated upwards

Deficit stood at 8.2% of GDP in 2012, up from 7.6% previously reported

The government deficit stood at 8.2 per cent of GDP in 2012 - not 7.6 per cent as was previously indicated.

The government deficit stood at 8.2 per cent of GDP in 2012 - not 7.6 per cent as was previously indicated.

Mon, Oct 14, 2013, 12:12

The government’s deficit in 2012 has been revised upwards due to a restatement in how certain revenues are recorded. In April, the government reported a budget deficit of €12,461 million for 2012, down from € 21,358 million in 2011. However, latest data from the Central Statistics Office show that this figure has now risen to €13,511 million.

As such, when considered as a percentage of GDP, the deficit for 2012 has increased from 7.6 per cent in April, to 8.2 per cent. This remains within the EU/IMF target of 8.6 per cent of GDP. Expenditure fell from €76.6 billion in 2011 to €69.8 billion in 2012.

The restatement largely occured due to a change in when revenue from the sales of mobile phone licences was recorded.

Initially, the €450 million booked from the sale of mobile phone licenses was reported as having being received in 2012, reflecting the fact that the contract was entered into in 2012. However, Eurostat subsequently clarified that as the date of the allocation of the licences was in the first quarter of 2013, the correct statistical treatment is to record this revenue in 2013. As a result, Ireland’s deficit has increased by €723 million.

On a gross basis, government debt stood at €192,458 million at the end of

2012 - up from €169,226 million at the end of 2011. The corresponding percentages of GDP were 117.4 per cent and 104.1 per cent, respectively