Cyprus Mail

Government debt rises to €19.7bn or 110.6 per cent in September, Eurostat says

Cyprus’s government debt rose in September to €19.7bn or 110.6 per cent of economic output, which is the fourth highest ratio in the European Union, Eurostat said.

Q3 government debtCompared with June, the Cypriot government debt increased by €662m at the end of the third quarter, Eurostat said in a statement on its website on Monday. In the third quarter of 2015, the government debt stood at €19.2bn or 109.1 per cent of the economy.

The EU’s debt fell to 83.3 per cent of the bloc’s economy, or to €12.4tn, in the third quarter from 84.2 per cent the quarter before and from 85.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2015, Eurostat said. The euro area’s government debt dropped to 90.1 per cent in September or €9.6tn from 91.2 per cent in July and 91.5 per cent in September 2015.

Greece, Italy and Portugal were the euro area members with the highest government debt as a percentage of economic output, with 176.9 per cent, 132.7 per cent and 130.4 per cent respectively, Eurostat said. Estonia, Luxembourg and Latvia had the lowest debt to GDP ratio of 9.6 per cent, 21.5 per cent and 37.9 per cent respectively.

Cyprus was the country with the highest increase in government debt in the third quarter compared with the quarter before in the euro area, followed by Portugal and Lithuania, Eurostat said. Greece, Italy and Austria were the countries which reduced it the most.

Still, Greece was the country which saw its government debt rise the most in a year in the third quarter, followed by Lithuania and Portugal, while Ireland, the Netherlands and Malta were the euro area countries which reduced it the most, Eurostat said.

The increase in Cypriot government debt in the third quarter resulted from the issue of a €1bn 7-year government bond in July. The government is projected to post a 2016 fiscal deficit of around 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product which, in turn, is expected to have expanded 2.8 per cent last year in real terms. Consumer prices dropped last year 1.4 per cent.

In January to November, the government generated a fiscal surplus of €161.4m on a cash basis.

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