2015 General Government Budget Results

The 2015 general government deficit reached 2.97 % of GDP, exceeding the target of 2.49 % of GDP. Adjusted for the impacts of the economic cycle and temporary effects, structural deficit reached 2.6 % of GDP and, for the second consecutive year, deteriorated by 0.1 % of GDP year-on-year. Also thanks to one-off revenues, gross debt reached 52.9 % of GDP, 1.5 % of GDP below the budgeted forecast, and fell from the second to the first sanction zone under the debt rule.
At the time of its approval, the budget contained significant negative risks. In May 2015, after the 2014 results had been published, the Council for Budget Responsibility (CBR) revised its estimate and warned that the deficit might reach the upper limit of 3.0 % of GDP1. Most of the identified risks indeed materialised, even beyond the original estimates, making the deficit worse than expected. The most significant negative risks which the CBR pointed out included shortfalls in dividends from the SPP, sale of CO2 allowances, financial corrections to EU funds, and higher expenditures of the local government and healthcare sectors. Moreover, the government implemented additional expenditures, which were partly financed from the reserves for worse-than-expected macroeconomic development and from higher tax revenues. The total impact of these negative effects on the budget reached 2.1 % of GDP. The deficit remained below the three-percent threshold thanks to the positive effects in the amount of 1.6 % of GDP, mainly due to higher tax revenues and lower transfers to the EU budget.