20 Jul

Government debt slightly up to 86.8% of GDP in euro area (last figures released by Eurostat)

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 86.8%, compared with 86.7% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.6% to 81.5%. Compared with the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 89.2% to 86.8%) and the EU28 (from 83.6% to 81.5%).

According to the figures released today, July, 20, at the end of the first quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 86.8%, compared with 86.7% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.6% to 81.5%. Compared with the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 89.2% to 86.8%) and the EU28 (from 83.6% to 81.5%).

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, debt securities accounted for 80.8% of euro area and for 81.7% of EU28 general government debt. Loans made up 16.2% and 14.2% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.0% of euro area and 4.1% of EU28 government debt. Due to the involvement of EU 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 first quarter of 2018 amounted to 2.1% 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 first quarter of 2018 were recorded in Greece (180.4%), Italy (133.4%) and Portugal (126.4%), and the lowest in Estonia (8.7%), Luxembourg (22.2%) and Bulgaria (24.1%).

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, twelve Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and sixteen a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Belgium (+2.9 percentage points – pp), Greece (+1.8 pp), Italy (+1.6 pp), Slovenia (+1.4 pp) and the Czech Republic (+1.1 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Latvia (-4.4 pp), Lithuania (-3.5 pp), Cyprus (-2.8 pp) and Sweden (-2.6 pp).

Compared with the first quarter of 2017, only Greece (+2.7 pp) registered an increase in its debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and twenty seven Member States a decrease. The largest decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-11.3 pp), Ireland (-6.5 pp), Croatia (-6.4 pp), Malta (-6.2 pp) and Slovenia (-5.3 pp).

Geographical Information

The euro area (EA19) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. The EU28 includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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