BRUSSELS， Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) spent 28.7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on social protection in 2014， up from 28.3 percent in 2011， official data showed Wednesday.
In 2014， the two main sources of funding of social protection at EU level were general government contributions from taxes， making up 40 percent of total receipts， and social contributions at 54 percent， according to figures from Eurostat， the EU statistical agency.
The EU average continued to mask major disparities between member states. In 2014， social protection expenditure represented at least 30 percent of GDP in seven countries， with highest ratios emerging in France and Denmark. In contrast， the reading stood below 20 percent of GDP in ten member states， mostly in eastern Europe.
These disparities reflected differences in living standards， but were also indicative of the diversity of national social protection systems and of the demographic， economic， social and institutional structures specific to each member state， said Eurostat.
On average in the EU， old age and survivors benefits accounted for 45.9 percent of total social benefits in 2014， and were the major part of social protection benefits in nearly all member states， the agency noted.
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The Nomura economists said they expected one more interest rate cut in the second quarter of 2015, with RRR reductions in each quarter of next year.
A British banker, jailed for life in Hong Kong last year for the murder of two Indonesian women he tortured and raped in his luxury apartment, is due to launch an appeal on Tuesday.
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