Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019

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Government at a Glance Southeast Asia 2019 is the first edition in the Government at a Glance series for the region. It provides the latest available data on public administrations in the 10 ASEAN member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. This publication includes indicators on public finance and economics, public employment, budget practices and procedures, strategic human resources management, digital government, open government and citizen satisfaction with public services. Where possible, these data were compared against the OECD average and that of the neighbouring OECD member countries, such as Australia, Korea, Japan and New Zealand.

Each indicator in the publication is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of graphs and/or charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological section on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.



General government fiscal balance

A country’s fiscal balance is the difference between government revenues and expenditures. A fiscal deficit occurs when, in a given year, a government spends more than it receives in revenues. When fiscal deficits occur recurrently, the shortages are offset with debt accumulation. Over time, growing debt levels increase the burden of capital and interest payments and could send negative signals to international financial markets, affecting the sustainability of public finances. A complementary indicator of a country’s fiscal situation is the primary balance: the difference between the fiscal balance and the primary balance reflects the relative weight of interest payments within government accounts.



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