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Public Sector Deficit

Volume 894: debated on Thursday 26 June 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the best available comparative estimates of the public sector deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product in each of the EEC countries, the USA and Japan in the current financial year and in the two preceding financial years.

The table below shows for seven countries the financial deficit or surplus of general government (i.e. the net acquisition of financial assets) as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product at market prices. General government is a United Nations concept which corresponds roughly to the central or federal government plus local government. To obtain comparability figures are given on a calendar year basis. Figures for the remaining countries and forecasts for 1975 are not available.

Deficit (-) or surplus of general government as percentage GDP at market prices
United Kingdom-3·7- 4·4
United States0·1-0·5
n.a.: not available.


Denmark: National Accounts of OECD countries 1962–73, Vol. I.

France: OECD Economic Survey, 1975.

Germany: National Accounts of OECD countries 1962–73, Vol. I: Monthly Report of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

Italy: National Accounts of OECD countries 1962–73, Vol. I.

Netherlands: National Accounts of OECD countries 1962–73, Vol. I.

United Kingdom: Figures are consistent with those given in "Preliminary estimates of national income and balance of payments 1969–74", Cmnd. 6019. The figures for 1974 are provisional.

United States: National Accounts of OECD countries 1962–73. Vol. I: Survey of Current Business.

While every attempt has been made to ensure consistency between the figures, they should none the less be taken only as a broad indication of the relative size of deficits or surpluses. Differences in statistical treatment remain, and, above all, no account has been taken of differences in the range of activities financed by Government.