October 24, 2019
As at the end of the second quarter of 2019, the government debt to GDP ratio for the euro area (EA19) was 86.4% relative to 86.5% at the end of the first quarter of 2019. According to a report published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, “In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.1% to 80.5%. Compared with the second quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 87.3% to 86.4%) and the EU28 (from 81.5% to 80.5%).”
In addition, debt securities account for 80.8% of euro area and for 81.6% of EU28 general government debt at the end of the second quarter of 2019. Whereas, loans constituted 15.6% and 13.7% in the euro and EU28, respectively. Currency and deposits consisted of 3.6% of the euro area and 4.7% of the EU28 government debt.
Government debt at the end of the second quarter 2019 by Member State
Notably, at the end of the second quarter of 2019, the highest ratios government debt to GDP were observed in Greece (180.2%), Italy (138.0%), Portugal (121.2%), Cyprus (107.2%) and Belgium (104.7%) and the lowest in Estonia (9.3%), Luxembourg (20.3%) and Bulgaria (20.4%).
In comparison to the first quarter of 2019, ten Member States experienced a rise in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the second quarter of 2019, sixteen recorded a decline, while the ratio remained stable in two Member States. Eurostat stated that, “the highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Cyprus (+4.0 percentage points – pp), Lithuania (+2.1 pp) and Finland (+1.8 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Portugal (-2.5 pp), Greece (-1.9 pp) and Ireland (-1.6 pp).”
Eight Member States reported growth in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the second quarter of 2019, when compared with the second quarter of 2018, and twenty indicated a decrease. “The largest increases in the ratio were recorded in Cyprus (+6.4 pp), Greece (+2.7 pp) and Italy (+2.0 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Hungary and Slovenia (both -5.2 pp), Austria (-4.7 pp), Portugal (-4.5 pp) and Ireland (-4.4 pp).”
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