Albania’s budget deficit at 25-year high in 2020

Albania’s budget deficit at 25-year high in 2020
By bne IntelliNews February 14, 2021

Albania’s budget deficit reached a record ALL110bn (€890mn) in 2020, the highest level since the finance ministry started publishing the data back in 1995. 

The coronacrisis pushed up the deficit in 2020 as the economy shrank, especially during the second quarter, most of which was spent under a strict lockdown. At the same time, the government had to increase spending to support the healthcare sector and stimulate the economy, as well as to fund the recovery from the earthquake that struck parts of the country in 2019. 

Budget revenues for 2020 amounted to ALL425bn, down 7.5% compared to 2019, while public spending reached ALL536bn, a 9% year-on-year increase, according to preliminary data published by the finance ministry. 

The budget deficit reached around 7% of GDP in 2020, sharply up from 1.9% in 2019, which was broadly in line with its level in previous years. According to the Ministry of Finance, the government aims to bring the deficit back below its target of 2% of GDP by 2024. 

Albania’s public debt also rose sharply in 2020, rising from 66.3% in 2019 to around 80% in 2020. The government expects debt to gradually fall to 73.8% by 2024.