How to Run a Surplus

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (C) arrives for the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will have to protect his new surplus from many quarters.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    To avoid running a deficit, Germany needs to continue generating surpluses to cover increased costs associated with the refugee crisis.

  • Facts


    • In the first half of 2016, Germany generated a surplus of €18.5 billion.
    • Spending actually increased from €299.1 billion in 2015 to €316.9 billion in 2016.
    • The Finance Ministry projects a balanced budget in 2017 despite plans to increase spending by another €10 billion.
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Germany continues to defy expectations and generate historic surpluses, despite increased spending on everything from the refugee crisis to defense and infrastructure.

In the first half of 2016, revenues topped expenditures by €18.5 billion ($20 billion), according to the Federal Statistical Office.

That’s the largest mid-year surplus since the country’s reunification in 1990, and it comes at a time when many other European counties are continuing to struggle with balancing their budgets.

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