Government debt up to 91.7% of GDP in euro area
In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 85.3% to 84.8%. Compared with the first quarter of 2015, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 93.0% to 91.7%) and the EU28 (from 88.1% to 84.8%).
At the end of the first quarter of 2016, debt securities accounted for 79.3% of euro area and for 80.8% of EU28 general government debt. Loans made up 17.7% and 15.2% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.0% of euro area and 4.0% of EU28 government debt.
Due to the involvement of EU governments in financial assistance to certain Member States, quarterly data on intergovernmental lending (IGL) is also published. The share of IGL in GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2016 amounted to 2.2% in the euro area and to 1.6% in the EU28.
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2015, sixteen Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2016, eleven a decrease and Portugal remained stable.
The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Bulgaria (+3.6 pp), Belgium (+3.2 pp) and Italy (+2.7 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Lithuania (-2.7 pp), the United Kingdom (-1.2 pp) and Sweden (-1.0 pp).
Compared with the first quarter of 2015, thirteen Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2016, fourteen a decrease and in Italy there was no change.
The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Greece (+5.8 pp), Finland (+3.7 pp), Latvia (+2.9 pp) and Lithuania (+2.1 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Ireland (-16.7 pp – see country note), the Netherlands (-4.3 pp), Denmark (-4.1 pp), Germany, Croatia and Malta (all -3.3 pp). ■