21 Jan
Eurostat GDP January 2019

Government debt down to 86.1% of GDP in euro area (Eurostat)

At the end of the third quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 86.1%, compared with 86.3% at the end of the second quarter of 2018. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.0% to 80.8%. Compared with the third quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 88.2% to 86.1%) and the EU28 (from 82.5% to 80.8%), according to the last figures released today, January 21, by Eurostat.

At the end of the third quarter of 2018, debt securities accounted for 81.2% of euro area and for 82.0% of EU28 general government debt. Loans made up 15.7% and 13.8% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.1% of euro area and 4.2% of EU28 government debt. Due to the involvement of EU Member States’ governments in financial assistance to certain Member States, quarterly data on intergovernmental lending (IGL) is also published. The share of IGL in GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2018 amounted to 2.0% in the euro area and to 1.5% in the EU28.

Government debt by Member State

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2018 were recorded in Greece (182.2 %), Italy (133.0%), Portugal (125.0%), Cyprus (110.9%) and Belgium (105.4%), and the lowest in Estonia (8.0%), Luxembourg (21.7%) and Bulgaria (23.1%).

Compared with the second quarter of 2018, six Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2018, nineteen a decrease and the ratio remained stable in three Member States. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Cyprus (+6.9 percentage points – pp) and Greece (+4.8 pp).

The largest decreases were recorded in Malta (-3.1 pp), Slovenia and Croatia (both -1.6 pp), Hungary and Czechia (both -1.4 pp), the Netherlands (-1.1 pp) and Poland (-1.0 pp).

Compared with the third quarter of 2017, four Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2018, and twenty-four a decrease. An increase in the ratio was recorded in Cyprus (+9.7 pp), Greece (+7.4 pp), the United Kingdom (+0.4 pp) and Slovakia (+0.1 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Slovenia (-8.0 pp), Malta (-6.8 pp), Portugal (-4.6 pp), Austria (-4.3 pp), Lithuania (-4.2 pp), the Netherlands (-4.1 pp), Ireland and Croatia (both -4.0 pp).

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