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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Feb 6, 2012 - 1:29 PM

Greece’s debt rose to 159.1% of GDP in Q3 of 2011 from 138.8% year earlier; Ireland's rose from 88.4% to 104.9%
By Finfacts Team
Feb 6, 2012 - 1:24 PM

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The Eurozone (EA17) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

Greece’s debt rose to a ratio of 159.1% of  GDP (gross domestic product) in Q3 (the third quarter) of 2011 from 138.8% a year earlier. Ireland's ratio rose from 88.4% to 104.9%, according to Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, on Monday.

At the end of the third quarter of 2011, the government debt to GDP ratio in the Eurozone (EA17) stood at 87.4%, down compared with 87.7% at the end of the second quarter of 2011. In the EU27 the ratio increased from 81.7% to 82.2%. Compared with the third quarter of 2010, the government debt to GDP ratio rose in both the Eurozone (from 83.2% to 87.4%) and the EU27 (from 78.5% to 82.2%).

At the end of the third quarter of 2011, securities other than shares accounted for 79.3% of Eurozone and 79.7% of EU27 general government debt. Loans made up 18.0% of Eurozone and 15.8% of EU27 government debt. Currency and deposits represented 2.8% of Eurozone and 3.8% of EU27 government debt.

Eurostat said that due to the involvement of EU governments in financial assistance to certain member countries, and in order to obtain a more complete picture of the evolution of government debt, quarterly data on intergovernmental lending (IGL) is also published. The share of IGL in GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2011 is similar for both the Eurozone and the EU27, amounting to 0.8% and 0.6% of GDP respectively.

Compared with the second quarter of 2011, fourteen member countries registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2011, and thirteen a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Hungary (+4.8 percentage points - pp), Greece (+4.4 pp) and Portugal (+3.6 pp), and the largest decreases in Italy and Malta (both -1.6 pp) and Romania (-1.0 pp). It should be noted that the change in debt ratio between two successive quarters can be influenced by seasonal patterns.

Compared with the third quarter of 2010, twenty member countries registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2011, and seven a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Greece (+20.3 pp), Portugal (+18.9 pp) and Ireland (+16.5 pp), and the largest decreases in Sweden (-1.6 pp), Luxembourg (-1.4 pp) and Bulgaria (-0.9 pp).

Eurostat tables [pdf]

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