CEE Morning Briefing: EU National Debt and Deficit Data Due


  • Local/GMT
  • 1100/0900 Euro Zone, EU national deficit and debt data

Despite Europe’s slowdown, austerity measures centered on spending cuts across the continent may show declining deficit levels Monday when Eurostat issues fresh data on the fiscal health of nations across the European Union.

Euro-zone members Slovenia and Slovakia both aim to narrow their deficits this year to under 3% of gross domestic product, after posting fiscal gaps last year of 3.7% and 4.6% of GDP, respectively.

In Slovenia, which is under pressure to improve its finances as it struggles to recapitalize its commercial banking sector, the country’s debt level is likely to fall to 53.1% of GDP this year from 54.1% last year.

In Slovakia the government’s debt level is expected to inch higher to 54.8% this year from 52.1% in 2012.

The deficit in Poland, until recently the region’s most resilient economy, is likely to show some slippage due to the country’s strong growth rate cooling.

Warsaw now expects a deficit of 3.5% in 2012 versus the government’s original expectation of 2.97%.

The Polish economy grew 2% last year, below expectations, putting pressure on the government’s tax revenues.

Poland’s gap peaked in 2010 at 7.9% of GDP, when the government ramped up spending to support growth in the first wave of the global financial crisis.

While European Union members are required to keep their deficits below 3% of economic output, fiscal gaps in most countries have ballooned in recent years due to falling tax revenues.

The bloc has issued a directive imploring member states to achieve that goal this year.


POLAND: LOT Polish Airlines SA, the smallest of eight airlines with grounded Boeing Co. (BA) 787 Dreamliners, is dissatisfied by how the aerospace giant has handled the disruption, LOT’s chief executive said.

SLOVENIA: The Slovenian government, under pressure to launch a wide-ranging privatization program, is striving to avoid an asset fire sale, and isn’t planning to use the additional income to prop up fund-starved companies in the sprawling state-controlled sector, Finance Minister Uros Cufer said Sunday.

HUNGARY: The Hungarian government Friday rejected a warning by Transparency International that a new law could facilitate electoral fraud.

The government has amended election regulations several times over the past two years, including giving voting rights to Hungarian citizens living outside the country.

Marcin Sobczyk in Warsaw and Leos Rousek in Prague contributed to this article.

Write to Sean Carney at sean.carney@wsj.com