Eurozone debt climbs to 92% of output

23 Jul 13
The combined government debt of the countries in the eurozone totals more than 92% of total economic output of the currency union, figures from Eurostat have revealed.

By | 23 July 2013

The combined government debt of the countries in the eurozone totals more than 92% of total economic output of the currency union, figures from Eurostat have revealed.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, total debt stood at €8.75 trillion, according to the statistical office of the European Union, or 92.2% of gross domestic product of the 17 countries. This was up from €8.6trn at the end of 2012, then equivalent to 90.6% of GDP.

The vast majority of the debt – 77.1% of the total – was made up of government gilts and other securities. Loans made up 18.4% of the total, while currency transactions represented 2.7%.

Greece had the highest debt-to-GDP ratio of any euro member at the end of March, at 160.5% of GDP. Four other nations also had debts in excess of annual output – Italy (130.3%), Portugal (127.2%), Ireland (125.1%) and Belgium (104.5%).

The lowest debt levels were held by Estonia(10.0%), Luxembourg(22.4%) and Slovenia (54.5%).

The biggest change, compared to the last quarter of 2012, was recorded by Ireland, where the debt-to-GDP ratio increased by 7.7 percentage points over the three months. No other country’s debt burden increased by more than 5 percentage points over the period, while only two eurozone members – Estonia and Germany – saw debt fall as a proportion of output.

Eurostat also revealed that the debt-to-GDP for the entire European Union is lower than for the eurozone alone, standing at 85.9%.

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