Liechtenstein has published a new set of financial statistics, enabling comparisons with other European states to be made for the first time. The public finances of the state, municipalities and social insurance agencies were analysed in detail.
While public sector revenues shrank, expenditure also fell. State, municipal and social insurance expenditure totalled CHF 1,599 million in 2013 (not consolidated). This is CHF 285 million less than in the previous year. State revenues also declined. In 2013, they amounted to CHF 1,539 million (not consolidated). This is 12.5% or CHF 220 million less than in the previous year.
No government debt
In contrast to other European states, Liechtenstein is one of the few countries around the world without government debt. Its net assets are furthermore continuing to grow. At the end of 2013, state, municipalities and social insurance agencies had assets worth CHF 6.4 billion. Between 2011 and 2013, net assets rose CHF 199 million. Social insurance agencies accounted for the largest share of the increase in assets. There was a moderate rise at the municipal level. At the state level, however, net assets declined.
The international comparison
The financial statistics were drawn up in accordance with international standards, enabling comparisons to be made with other states. Liechtenstein has an impressive track record. For example, the Principality has the lowest level of government expenditure in Europe. The government expenditure ratio expresses state expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). This amounted to the low figure of 24.2% in Liechtenstein in 2013. Switzerland has the second-lowest government expenditure ratio. At 31.5%, however, this is substantially higher than Liechtensteins. Austria, Liechtensteins second neighbouring state, is ranked in the lower third of the table, with a figure of 50.9%.
The Principalitys deficit of around CHF 60 million or 1.1% of GDP is also impressively low. On a European comparison, Liechtenstein ranks eighth in terms of this parameter. The deficit in euro countries is not supposed to exceed 3 % of GDP. The table is headed by Norway, Luxembourg and Germany, which registered a surplus. Switzerland (0.1%), Estonia (0.5%), Denmark (0.7%) and Latvia (0.9%) are also ranked ahead of Liechtenstein.
Link to the statistics (German only): http://www.llv.li/files/as/finanzstatistik-2011-2013.pdf