Spain's public deficit stood at 6.62 percent in 2013 without taking into account public financial aid injected into Spanish banks, the Spanish government announced on Friday. The government described the data as positive because Spain "almost" meets the target though the figure was slightly above the 6.5 percent required by Brussels. The figures issued at a press conference following a cabinet meeting showed the deficit of the State, which includes central administration and Social Security deficits, stood at 5.49 percent compared to the target of 5.2 percent. The deficit of the Spanish regions, Autonomous Communities, stood at 1.54 percent compared to the 1.3 percent required, while local governments registered a 0.41 percent surplus. Minister of Finance Cristobal Montoro emphasized that local governments were helping Spain to gain credibility and Spanish regions were making big efforts to reduce their deficits. He also highlighted the fact that Spain was in recession in 2013 which made the country's gross domestic product fall by 28.399 billion euros pushing up the deficit. Montoro also highlighted the efforts made by the Spanish society. "Behind these figures are the efforts made by the society. We have to appreciate them and tell citizens they will have something back," he said. Meanwhile, the European Commission said that they would keep in mind this data provided by the Spanish government, adding that the European Union statistics office, the Eurostat, had to confirm this data and will publish its own figures on April 23. Spanish Deputy Prime Minster Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that the data released on Friday confirmed that the reforms carried out by the government had an impact on Spanish economy and helped fiscal consolidation. Meanwhile, on Friday, preliminary data published by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) showed that Spanish prices fell 0.2 percent in March when compared with a year ago. The INE will confirm this figure on April 11.