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German 2003 deficit seen lower

19 February 2004

WIESBADEN – Germany’s public-sector deficit in 2003 was slightly lower than initial estimates, but the overall ratio remained well in excess of European Union monetary stability rules, sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Thursday.

Sources close to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said that the deficit was calculated at EUR 82.1 billion as against an initial estimate of EUR 86 billion.

With the lower figure, the deficit-to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was around 3.9 percent, as against the initial 4.0 percent calculation, the sources said.

However, this was still well above the 3.0 percent deficit limit set under the EU stability pact rules.

The federal government share of the deficit at EUR 38.6 billion was about 4.8 billion less than initially reported, the sources said.

The sources’ comments came as the statistics office was issuing more comprehensive economic performance figures for 2003 which did not change the office’s previous estimates.

The office has reported that the fourth-quarter 2003 GDP showed a 0.2 percent year-on-year rise, matching the same rate of increase in the third quarter. But overall, Germany’s GDP fell 0.1 percent in 2003.

In 2004, the Berlin government is projecting a deficit of 3.25 percent of GDP, with the figure to be lowered to 2.5 percent in 2005.


Subject: German news