Eurozone government debt falls to 89.9% of GDP, deficit moderates to 2.8%

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CdM| Eurozone government debt has fallen to 89.9% of GDP in the third quarter of 2023. According to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, this figure reflects a fall of four tenths of a percentage point from the figure for the second quarter of last year (90.3%), while the public deficit fell to 2.8% from 3% in the previous quarter.

In the European Union, government debt also declined from 83.0% to 82.6%. Compared with the third quarter of 2022, the government debt-to-GDP ratio also declined in both the euro area (from 92.2% to 89.9%) and the EU (from 84.6% to 82.6%).

At the end of the third quarter of 2023, debt securities accounted for 83.6% of general government debt in the euro area and 83.1% in the EU. This reflects an increase of 0.2% in both regions compared with the previous quarter’s data.

Loans accounted for 13.6% and 14.1% respectively, and currency and deposits for 2.8% of both euro area and EU government debt. This is two tenths of a percentage point lower than the latest available data and one percentage point lower than a year ago.

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2023 were recorded in Greece (165.5%), Italy (140.6%), France (111.9%), Spain (109.8%), Belgium (108.0%) and Portugal (107.5%), while the lowest were observed in Estonia (18.2%), Bulgaria (21.0%), Luxembourg (25.7%), Sweden (29.7%) and Denmark (30.1%).

Compared with the third quarter of 2022, eight Member States recorded an increase in their debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2023 and nineteen Member States a decrease. Increases in the ratio were recorded in Belgium (+2.5), Estonia (+2.3), Finland (+2.0), Latvia (+1.3), Slovakia, Romania and Luxembourg (all three +1.0), as well as Lithuania (+0.4). The largest decreases were observed in Greece (-12.0), Portugal (-10.9), Cyprus (-10.3), Croatia (-5.5 pp), Ireland (-4.9), Spain (-4.2), Sweden (-4.0), Austria (-3.1) and Slovenia (-3.0).

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