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Stefan Karlsson

Deficits fall in southern Europe. Progress?

Any deficit is a bad deficit, but Italy, Portugal, and Greece are taking bug strides in reducing their national debts.

By Guest blogger / August 31, 2012

People walk past closed shops in downtown Rome earlier this month. Italy shrank its deficit by about two thirds in the past year.

Gregorio Borgia/AP/File

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Here are the first half current account balance numbers for the first half of this year for the main four Southern European euro area countries, with the balance for the first half of 2011 in ( ).

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Stefan is an economist currently working in Sweden.

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Italy : -€11.6 billion (-€35.9 billion)
Spain: -€17.1 billion (-€24.6 billion)
Greece: -€5.9 billion (-€13 billion)
Portugal: -€2.9 billion (-€7.8 billion)

As you can see, Italy and Portugal had the biggest improvements with their deficits falling by about two thirds while Greece saw its deficit fall by more than half too, Spain saw the smallest improvement, with its deficit falling by only about 30%. Given the current market mistrust of those countries, even a smaller deficit is too big, but at least it is moving in the right direction.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on stefanmikarlsson.blogspot.com.

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