Spain Closes 2023 Financial Year with Slightly Lower Public Deficit, Commits to Strengthening Welfare State and Social Protections

Spain meets deficit goal and finishes 2023 with 3.64% GDP.

Spain has closed the 2023 financial year with a public deficit of 3.64% of GDP, slightly lower than the provisional 3.66% reported last week by Finance Minister Mara Jess Montero. The Ministry of Finance stated that the data changed minimally after receiving the definitive national accounting data, with the deficit standing at 3.65% excluding financial aid.

The Ministry of Finance has provided Eurostat with the official closing data for the year, meeting and even surpassing the 3.9% forecast committed to the European Commission. This marks Spain’s fourth consecutive year of fulfilling its commitments to Brussels. The reduction in Spain’s public deficit was attributed to economic growth and increased employment in 2023, with Spain growing at a rate of 2.5%, five times higher than the euro zone average. A record number of Social Security affiliates were registered, totaling over 21 million employed individuals in 2023.

Despite this progress, Spain remained committed to strengthening its welfare state and social protections to combat the effects of war in Ukraine and other crises that may arise in the future. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Spain has reduced its deficit by more than €60 billion while expanding public services and maintaining social programs such as healthcare and education funding.

In terms of social security funds specifically, there was a negative balance of €8,211 million euros equivalent to €0.56% of GDP for both funds combined (including Fogasa and SEPE). However, transfers from other EU member states have increased by €43,908 million euros or about €7%, indicating that social security received significant support from Brussels.

Overall, these closing figures for 2023 show a mix of positive signs for Spain’s economy and society while also highlighting areas where further improvement is needed.

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