The average budget deficit of the eurozone fell to 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product in 2011, down from 6.2 per cent in 2010, although public debt in the European Union rose, according to figures released Monday.
Among the 17 states sharing the single currency, debt rose to 87.3 per cent of GDP at the end of 2011, up from 85.4 per cent a year earlier, figures by the EU's statistical office Eurostat showed.
Within the 27-member EU as a whole, average debt rose to 82.5 per cent of GDP, up from 80 per cent in 2010, while the budget deficit fell to 4.4 per cent, down from 6.5 per cent.
Only 10 EU member states had managed to keep their deficits below the EU-set target of 3 per cent of GDP, according to Eurostat.
Monday's figures were based on revised data released by member states and took into account bank restructuring and nationalization programmes in Ireland and Britain.
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