Spain public deficit falls
Spain's state budget deficit reached 3.42 percent of gross domestic product in the first nine months of 2011, a sharp reduction compared to the same period last year, the government said Thursday.
The debt came to 37.02 billion euros over the January to September period, the economy ministry said in a statement.
The state deficit figure does not include Spain's 17 autonomous but centrally-funded regions, whose own individual accounts have raised concerns for the country's overall public deficit.
The government's official target this year is for a 4.8 percent state deficit excluding the regions and an overall public deficit of six percent as it carries out tough spending cuts to calm concerns for its financial stability.
"To meet the six percent target, the autonomous communities and the local institutions will also have to fulfill their deficit reduction aims for this year," the government statement warned.
It was the first state deficit figure calculated under new EU rules that came into force on September 30 but the government said this change would not have "an appreciable effect on the final balance" for the year.
© 2011 AFP