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Deficit-debt adjustment (DDA) analysis: an analytical tool to assess the consistency of government finance statistics


  • Kezbere, Linda
  • Maurer, Henri


This statistical paper describes and explains a specific tool enabling statisticians to gain additional insights and assess the consistency of government finance statistics (GFS): analysis of the deficit-debt adjustment (DDA), or stock-flow adjustment (SFA). The DDA reconciles two key government indicators – the government deficit/surplus and government debt. DDA analysis helps to establish whether these statistics are plausible and reliable by exploring the consistency between governments’ non-financial accounts (measuring the government deficit/surplus) and financial accounts (measuring government debt at market value). It also takes into account valuation differences between the financial accounts and government debt measured at face value (Maastricht debt). Recent years’ GFS for the euro area aggregate and the individual euro area countries (and, where useful, other EU Member States’ data) are used to illustrate DDA analysis. The dataset bridging the government deficit and the change in government debt reveals many aspects of a government’s economic policies. For instance, the components of the DDA shed light on its equity investments or privatisations, its use of investment in financial reserves, some aspects of its debt management and the accumulation of fiscal or social arrears. JEL Classification: H62, H63

Suggested Citation

  • Kezbere, Linda & Maurer, Henri, 2018. "Deficit-debt adjustment (DDA) analysis: an analytical tool to assess the consistency of government finance statistics," Statistics Paper Series 29, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbsps:201829
    Note: 810301

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maurer, Henri & Grussenmeyer, Patrick, 2015. "Financial assistance measures in the euro area from 2008 to 2013: statistical framework and fiscal impact," Statistics Paper Series 07, European Central Bank.
    2. Grussenmeyer, Patrick & Maurer, Henri, 2015. "Financial assistance measures in the euro area from 2008 to 2013: statistical framework and fiscal impact," Statistics Paper Series 7, European Central Bank.
    3. Timothy C. Irwin, 2015. "Defining The Government'S Debt And Deficit," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 711-732, September.
    4. Maurer, Henri & Keweloh, Sascha, 2017. "Quality enhancements in Government Finance Statistics since the introduction of the euro - Econometric evidence," Statistics Paper Series 26, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bańkowski, Krzysztof, 2023. "Fiscal policy in the semi-structural model ECB-BASE," Working Paper Series 2802, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item


    consistency; data quality; government finance statistics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt


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