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Government budget deficits fell across Europe in 2013, but overall debt burden rose slightly

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BRUSSELS — Official figures show that governments across the 28-country European Union recorded lower budget deficits in 2013 amid lower spending and an economic recovery that shored up revenues.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said Wednesday that budget deficits across the 18-nation eurozone fell from 3.7 percent of annual gross domestic product in 2012 to 3 percent last year.

For the entire EU, which includes members like Britain that don't use the euro currency, the agency says deficits shrunk from 3.9 percent to 3.3 percent.

The data show the EU's debt burden continued to rise last year, albeit slowly. Debt in the eurozone rose from 90.7 percent to 92.6 percent of GDP last year, or 8.9 trillion euros ($12.3 trillion).

The United States' debt amounts to about 105 percent of GDP.

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