Government debt in the euro area stood at 98.3% of GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2021, down from 100% of GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2021, while in the European Union debt also fell by at 92.4% of GDP to 90.9 %% of GDP, according to data released on Friday by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).
Compared to the second quarter of last year, government debt as a percentage of GDP increased both in the euro area (from 94.4% to 98.3%) and in the EU (from 87.2% to 90.9% ).
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, the highest level of government debt as a percentage of GDP among EU Member States was recorded in Greece (207.2%), Italy (156.3%), Portugal (135.4%), Spain (122.8%), France (114.6%), Belgium (113.7%) and Cyprus (112%), and the lowest in Estonia (19.6%), Bulgaria (24.7%) and Luxembourg (26.2%). Other countries with a relatively low level are: Sweden (37.9%), Denmark (39.7%), the Czech Republic (42.7%), Latvia (43.3%), Lithuania (44.6%) and Romania (47.5%).
Compared to the first quarter of 2021, 23 Member States recorded a decrease in debt as a percentage of GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2021, an increase of two, while in Estonia and Bulgaria the level of debt remained stable. Increases were in Malta (two percentage points – pp) and Slovakia (1.3 pp), and the most significant decreases were in Cyprus (minus 9.4 pp), Slovenia (minus five pp), Croatia (minus four pp), Portugal (minus 3.7 pp), Hungary and France (both with minus 3.4 pp), Italy (minus 3.3 pp) and Belgium (minus 3.2 pp), according to Agerpres.ro.
Compared to the second quarter of 2020, 24 EU Member States reported increases in government debt as a percentage of GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2021. The highest increase was in Greece (15.9 pp), Spain (12.5 pp), Malta (10.8 pp) and Portugal (9.1 pp), with decreases in Ireland (minus 3.1 pp), Denmark (minus 1.5 pp) and the Netherlands (minus 0.8 pp).