Today, November 11, marks the point when the United Kingdom will have spent its entire revenue for the year, 51 days early. That means, in effect, that for the next 51 days the country will be accruing a deficit.
The Institut économique Molinari non-profit research group has used Eurostat data to calculate the dates when each European country reaches the symbolic point where 2015’s resources will have been spent.
The following infographic shows the dates on which countries’ central administrations have or will have spent their revenue for the whole of 2015.
Although the average across Europe is 23 days before the end of the year, the UK is not the worst offender. France had spent its annual revenue by Monday. Cyprus had got through its 2015 revenue by October 12.
Only four countries found themselves in surplus: Denmark, Germany, Lithuania and Estonia will arrive in 2016 with money to spare.
Central government is generally the worst offender, with a greater overspend than local and social security administrations which, says Molinari, “traditionally balance their books better” than central ones.
There’s particular cause for concern in France, one of the few countries to run deficits at all three levels of administration (local authorities, central administration and social security.)
The French situation, the Molinari report finds, “is deteriorating in both real and relative terms”, despite the fact that public revenue in France has been rising significantly.