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Germany runs up surplus of 1.1% of GDP in first half of 2014

FRANKFURT, Germany--Germany achieved a surplus in its public finances equivalent to 1.1 percent of overall economic output in the first six months of this year, official data showed on Monday.

The federal, regional and municipal budgets showed a combined surplus of 16.1 billion euros (US$21.1 billion) in the period from January to June, profiting primarily from a “very favourable employment situation,” the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.

Measured against overall gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.426 trillion euros, that represented a ratio of 1.1 percent.

Under eurozone rules, member states are not allowed to run up deficit ratios of more than 3.0 percent and are obliged to bring their budgets into balance or even surplus in the long term.

The federal government alone achieved a surplus of 4.0 billion euros in the January-June period, the first time since 1991 that the federal budget has been in the black in the first half, Destatis said.

The regional states were able to almost balance their books as well, running up a deficit of just 200 million euros, compared with a surplus of 1.3 billion euros in the same period a year earlier.

The municipal authorities booked a surplus of 5.3 billion euros while the social and welfare budgets showed a surplus of 7.1 billion euros.

Overall public sector income amounted to 636.9 billion euros in the first half, an increase of 21.2 billion euros or 3.4 percent compared with a year earlier.

Public sector spending rose by 2.5 percent ro 14.9 billion euros to 620.8 billion euros, Destatis calculated.

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