Malta registered the biggest surplus in the EU and one of the largest decreases in debt in the first quarter of 2017, according to Eurostat data.

According to the statistical arm of the EU, Malta saw a surplus 3.5% of GDP, followed by Germany and the Netherlands at 1.5%. The biggest deficit was reported in Romania (3.5%).

Compared to the same quarter last year, Slovenia registered a positive change in its surplus (3.1%), followed by Austria (2.7%) and Malta (2.1%). 

In the first quarter of 2017, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.9% in the euro area, a decrease compared with 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Where it comes to debt, the largest decreases were recorded in the Netherlands (-4.7%), Germany (-4%), Austria (-3.8%), Malta (-2.9%) and Denmark (-2.7%).

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, 12 member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2017, and 15 a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in
the Czech Republic (+3.1%), Luxembourg (+3.0%), and Croatia (+2.6%).

At the end of the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 89.5%, compared with 89.2% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

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