Austria had a budget deficit of 1.5 percent of GDP for 2013, putting it lower than government expectations, Statistics Austria revealed Monday.
The Treasury had expected a deficit of 2.3 percent going by Maastricht criteria, though the actual 6.6-billion-U.S.-dollar deficit proved the lowest since the global financial crisis began in 2008.
Statistics Austria Director General Konrad Pesendorfer said the main reason for the significantly lower-than-expected deficit was better-than-expected revenue which increased 3.4 percent, and whose development proved more dynamic than that of expenditure which increased only 1.2 percent.
The greatest sum of expenditures was yet again for the government's bank rescue package, reaching 2.6 billion dollars and 0.6 percent of GDP and without which the deficit would have been below one percent and on par with its 2008 level.
The national public debt ratio for the year proved virtually unchanged at 74.5 percent of GDP, though this is expected to increase to over 80 percent in 2014 due to the government costs involved in resolving the Hypo Alpe Adria bank crisis, also keeping it above the Maastricht criteria target of 60 percent.