Germany set to achieve balanced budget this year across all layers of government

Germany says it will achieve a fully balanced budget across all layers of government this year thanks to a resilient economy, low unemployment, higher tax revenues and low borrowing costs.

Berlin's Finance Ministry said Monday it expects official new borrowing for this year to come in at zero percent of economic output, when using the Europe Union's official debt criteria.

Germany's federal, state and local governments are still taking on combined new debt of €26.5 billion ($34.4 billion) this year but that is mostly offset by surpluses in the social security system.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, expects total debt to be 81.5 percent of its GDP of about €2.6 trillion this year. It is forecast to shrink to 73 percent by 2016 as the country tries to slash new borrowing.