German Deficit Hits 3.7 Percent in 2004 | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 22.02.2005
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German Deficit Hits 3.7 Percent in 2004

Germany ran up a public deficit equivalent to 3.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2004, exceeding EU limits for the third year in a row, the federal statistics office, Destatis, said on Tuesday. Under the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact eurozone countries are not allowed to chalk up deficits in excess of 3.0 percent of GDP. Originally, Destatis had estimated that the 2004 deficit ratio stood at 3.9 percent, but as more detailed tax estimates for the fourth quarter were received, this preliminary estimate was revised downwards, the statisticians explained. Tax revenues were €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) higher than originally calculated in the period from October to December and expenditures were down by €2.6 billion on the preliminary estimate. In concrete terms, tax revenues totaled €953.6 billion in the whole of 2004, Destatis said. With expenditure totaling €1.034 trillion, the shortfall amounted to €80.3 billion, measured against total GDP of €2.177 trillion, the office reported.

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