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Highest increase in government debt to GDP ratio

public debt euro sign economy

By Staff Reporter

CYPRUS has the highest increase in government debt to GDP ratio in the euro zone for the first quarter of 2014, with a registered 24.6 per cent jump from 87.6 per cent to 112.2 per cent, according to figures issued by Eurostat on Tuesday.

Cyprus is not alone in the troubled area, as the euro zone public debt rose sharply, with Eurostat figures showing that the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 93.9 per cent, compared with 92.7 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2014 were recorded in Greece (174.1 per cent), Italy (135.6 per cent) and Portugal (132.9 per cent), and the lowest in Estonia (10.0 per cent), Bulgaria (20.3 per cent) and Luxembourg (22.8 per cent).

According to Eurostat, the increase comes after two consecutive quarters of decrease.

In the EU28, the ratio increased from 87.2 per cent to 88.0 per cent. Compared with the first quarter of 2013, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the euro area (from 92.5 per cent to 93.9 per cent) and the EU28 (from 86.2 per cent to 88.0 per cent).

At the end of the first quarter of 2014, securities other than shares accounted for 79.3 per cent of euro area and for 80.9 per cent of EU28 general government debt, loans for 17.9 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively and currency and deposits for 2.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent.

Compared with the first quarter of 2013, 16 Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2014, and 10 a decrease.

Besides Cyprus, the highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Slovenia (+23.9 per cent), Greece (+13.5 per cent) and Croatia (+9.9 per cent), while the largest decreases were recorded in Poland (-7.7 per cent), Germany (-3.2 per cent), the Czech Republic (-2.2 per cent), Latvia (-1.4 per cent) and Belgium (-0.9 per cent).

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