Eurozone public debt rises to 88.2%
Eurostat data | Monday 23 July 2012
At the end of the first quarter of 2012, the government debt to GDP ratio was 88.2% in the eurozone, compared with 87.3% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. In the EU27, the ratio also increased from 82.5% to 83.4%, Eurostat reported, on 23 July. In the first quarter of 2011, the public debt to GDP ratio was 86.2% in the eurozone and 80.4% in the EU27.
At the end of the first quarter of 2012, securities other than shares represented 78.3% of public debt in the eurozone and 79.3% in the EU27. Loans made up 17.8% and 15.6% and currency and deposits 2.8% and 3.8%, respectively, of government debt.
Due to the involvement of governments in financial aid to certain member states, Eurostat explains that the share of intergovernmental lending in GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2012 stood at 1.2% in the eurozone and 0.9% in the EU27.
The highest ratios of government debt to GDP, at the end of the first quarter of 2012, were observed in Greece (132.4%), Italy (123.3%), Portugal (111.7%) and Ireland (108.5%), and the lowest in Estonia (6.6%), Bulgaria (16.7%) and Luxembourg (20.9%).
Compared with the last quarter of 2011, the largest increases were registered in Lithuania (+4 percentage points - pp), Portugal (+3.8 pp), Spain (+3.7 pp) and Belgium (+3.6 pp), and the largest decreases in Greece (-33 pp), Hungary (-1.8 pp) and Denmark (-1.5 pp). The decrease in the Greek government debt is due mainly to the exchange of bonds in the context of the private sector involvement (PSI).
Compared with the first quarter of 2011, the largest increases in the ratio were recorded in Portugal (+17.2 pp), Cyprus (+11 pp) and Ireland (+8.2 pp), and the largest decreases in Greece (-20 pp) and Hungary (-4.1 pp).