FINANCE

Greece has eurozone’s second highest deficit

Greece has eurozone’s second highest deficit

Greece may have had one of the highest fiscal deficits in the eurozone over the last couple of years due to the health crisis, but the International Monetary Fund expects a drastic drop in the deficit this year and a return to primary surpluses in 2023, according to the Fiscal Monitor report released on Wednesday.

For 2021, the IMF estimates the primary budget deficit in Greece to have come to 5.9% of gross domestic product, the second highest in the eurozone after Malta’s 8%, but quite lower than the budget estimate and the 7.9% primary deficit posted in 2020. The average eurozone rate stood at 4.2%, but the mean rate among developed countries came to 6.2%. Eurostat will release the official data on eurozone national deficit and debt on Friday.

The Fund expects that Greece will contain its primary deficit to 1.9% of GDP in 2022, matching the government projection, and revert to a primary surplus of 1.1% next year. That will grow to 1.5% in 2025, 1.8% in 2025, 1.9% in 2026 and 2% in 2027, per the Fiscal Monitor.

Meanwhile Greece’s national debt remains the eurozone’s runaway leader, amounting to 198.9% of GDP in 2021, but down from 211.9% of GDP in 2020, and is expected to drop to 185.4% this year.