Average deficits in the eurozone rose to 11,6% of GDP in the second quarter of this year, in seasonally adjusted terms, while in the European Union it increased to 11,4% of GDP, according to data published this Thursday by Eurostat. These ratios, which date back to the months when pandemic containment measures were strongest in all countries, represent the largest quarterly deficit published in the historical series since 2002.
“The second quarter saw the highest deficit in the euro area and the European Union since the beginning of the historical series, as well as the sharpest quarterly increase. In the second quarter of 2020, all Member States recorded a budget deficit, ”explains the European statistical body. In the first quarter, the average deficit for the eurozone had been 2,5% and for the European Union, 2,6%.
Portugal, which recorded a deficit of 9,2% in the second quarter (and which compares with 0,3% in the first quarter) was the sixth country in the eurozone with the greatest worsening of the budget balance between the two quarters. Austria, which was the eurozone country with the largest budget deficit in the second quarter (17,3%), was also the country of the single currency countries with the largest difference between the two quarters: 16,3%, followed by the Netherlands ( with a difference of 12,3%), Slovenia (10,8%) and Germany (9,7%).
Latvia, on the other hand, was among the 19 countries in the single currency that registered the lowest deficit, reaching 5,9%. While Malta registered the smallest increase (1,9%), but in a scenario where the deficit in the second quarter reached 11,2%, after having registered a deficit of 9,3% in the first three months of the year.