German government achieves record financing surplus in first half of 2017

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-25 19:23:41|Editor: Zhou Xin
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BERLIN, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Germany's various levels of government achieved a record combined financing surplus in the first half of 2017, preliminary official measurements released on Friday by the Federal Statistical Office show.

The country's federal-, state-, and communal levels of government, as well as public social insurance schemes, raised a total of 18.3 billion euros more in income than they spent during the period. The figure was equivalent to 1.1 percent as a share of Gross Domestic Product and marked the highest general government surplus measured since Germany re-unification in 1990.

The Federal Statistical Office noted however that financing balance was unequally distributed across different levels of government.

The Federal government recorded a deficit of 2.5 billion euros while the federal states recorded a surplus of 8.1 billion euros. On a communal level, the balance shows a plus of 6.1 billion euros; the German public social insurance recorded a plus of 6.6 billion euros.

The deficit on the federal level was increased by the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court on nuclear fuel taxes in 2016 which resulted in substantial tax rebates to German energy sector companies.

The Wiesbaden-based statisticians attributed the overall positive fiscal development to Germany's strong and lasting economic momentum. The country also recorded its lowest ever number of unemployed (2,518 million) since 1990 in July, further contributing to solid public finances. Growth in tax revenue remained high at 5.4 percent in the first half of 2017, while financing costs sunk by 5.2 percent thanks to the current low interest rate environment.