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

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 debtmanagement and the accumulation of fiscal or social arrears.