The Government recorded a deficit of €13.5 billion in 2012, which amounted to 8.2% of GDP.
That was a significant improvement on the 2011 deficit of €21.35 billion, official figures from the CSO show.
The 2011 figure represented a deficit of 13.1% of GDP.
Government revenue in 2012 increased to €56.5 billion from €55.33 billion the previous year.
There was a decline in expenditure from €76.56 billion to €69.8 billion over the same period.
The 2012 deficit has been substantially revised since first estimates were published in April of this year, mainly due to a change arising from the sale of mobile telephone licences by the State.
Government gross debt stood at €192.46 billion at the end of 2012 - up from €169.23 billion at the end of the previous year.
As a percentage of GDP, the debt decreased from 117.4% to 104.1%.