“It is an erratum,” an economy ministry spokeswoman said. Apparently the mistake was not due to a mathematical computations problem but to a human error: the person who typed the number just mixed up the last two digits.
Spain’s public debt in 2014 is expected to be the equivalent of 98.9 percent of total economic output, not the 99.8 percent figure that was originally published.
And it’s not a minimal difference: Spain is the fourth biggest in the euro zone and it is equivalent to about 10 billion euros.
Even after the correction, the country’s debt is one of its biggest worries. Spain is slowly pulling its head out of the water, struggling to emerge from a double-dip recession triggered when a property bubble imploded in 2008.
Public debt soared from 68.5 percent of total economic output in 2011 to 85.9 percent at the end of 2012 and 92.2 percent mid-way through this year.