Date: January 21, 2019
According to the latest report published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, “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%).”
In addition, debt securities account for 81.2% of euro area and for 82.0% of EU28 general government debt at the end of the third quarter of 2018. Whereas, loans made up 15.7% and 13.8% in the euro and EU28, respectively. Currency and deposits consisted of 3.1% of the euro area and 4.2% of the EU28 government debt.
Government debt at the end of the third quarter 2018 by Member State
Notably, at the end of the third quarter of 2018, the highest ratios government debt to GDP were recorded in Greece (182.2 %), Italy (133.0%), Portugal (125.0%), Cyprus (110.9%) and Belgium (105.4%). While, the lowest were reported in Estonia (8.0%), Luxembourg (21.7%) and Bulgaria (23.1%).
In comparison to 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 recorded a decline, while the ratio remained stable in three Member States. Eurostat stated that, “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).”
Four Member States reported growth in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2018, when compared with the third quarter of 2017, and twenty-four indicated 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),” as highlighted by Eurostat.
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