General government debt and deficit

Updated: 21 Apr 2021
Next update: 21 Oct 2021

These statistics contain data on the deficit and debt of government finance in Finland. Twice yearly the Member States of the European Union report data on their so-called EDP deficits and debts to the EU Commission. The data are used in the context of the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact to assess the state of government finances in the Member States. The reporting is a constituent part of what is known as the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP).

The reported data are produced in compliance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) and a separate EU Regulation. The data reported by the different Member States are comparable with each other.

The examination of the general government debt and deficit should be viewed as a broad entity formed by general government finances, which takes into account conditions for economic growth, the balance between public sector expenditure and revenue, and the stability of the economic dependency ratio. The effects of swings in economic conditions are not merely directed at the economic sector; the numerous social impacts of economic management in society must also be considered.

The public administration’s economic policy objective is the promotion of sustainable economic growth that improves employment and the reduction of central government indebtedness. Preparing an effective economic policy also requires the comprehensive monitoring, analysis and forecasting of economic development. An important element of this work is precisely the analysis of debt and deficit indicators as part of the monitoring of indicators describing economic development.


General government deficit 5.4 per cent and debt 69.2 per cent relative to GDP in 2020

According to the revised data reported by Statistics Finland to Eurostat, general government deficit was 5.4 per cent relative to gross domestic product in 2020. The deficit exceeded the reference values of the European Unions Stability and Growth Pact, which is three per cent relative to gross domestic product. General government EDP debt, or consolidated gross debt, was 69.2 per cent relative to gross domestic product at the end of 2020. The ratio of debt to GDP exceeded the reference value of 60 per cent. In 2020, the Commission introduced a general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact, which allows a temporary departure from the deficit and debt requirements.

Statistical release