Euro-Area Government Budget Deficit at Lowest in 6 Years

Governments in the euro area have cut their overall budget deficit to the smallest in six years, as the currency bloc puts the worst of the debt crisis behind it.

The euro-area government deficit shrank to 2.3 percent of gross domestic product in the third quarter, down from a peak of 7 percent of GDP in the first three months of 2010, the European Union’s statistics agency in Luxembourg said in a report today. The peak came shortly before Greece’s debt mountain triggered the euro area’s first bailout.

The bloc’s deficit is now at its narrowest since the third quarter of 2008, when it was at 1.9 percent of GDP, according to the statistic agency, Eurostat.

“The acute phase of the crisis is over,” EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in Brussels yesterday. “Most member states still need to secure long-term control over debt and deficit levels.”

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