Features of the tax and spending regime, which react automatically to the economic cycle and reduce its fluctuations. As a result, the budget balance in per cent of GDP tends to improve in years of high growth, and deteriorate during economic slowdowns.
The balance between total public expenditure and revenue in a specific year, with a positive balance indicating a surplus and a negative balance indicating a deficit. For the monitoring of Member State budgetary positions, the EU uses general government aggregates. See also structural budget balance.