Europese topper: Greece
Aantal landen opgenomen in de ranking: 33
The structural government balance measures the difference between government revenues and expenditure, corrected for one-off operations and the state of the economic cycle. In other words: it stabilises the government balance, regardless of an economic boom or slump, providing a better picture of the fiscal and budgetary policy being pursued. This is compared to the potential GDP, being the economic activity of a country if it was running at full speed. It includes the government in the broadest sense: both federal, regional, local and social security.
Ranking 25th out of 33, Belgium is again at the back of the class, even though we are just above the average of the OECD. As the most recent figures date from 2016, these are before the Tax Shift of the Michel-government.
The top position of Greece may be a surprise, given the usual headlines about the state of the country. Greece has indeed come a long way, after having had the largest deficits of the OECD by far in 2007 and 2009. We can only hope that the improvement in the budgetary statistics has also translated into a comparable improvement in Greek economy and society. After all, , by definition the structural balance does not take account of the state of the Greek economy.