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Cyprus records largest annual drop in public debt in EU during Q1 2018

July 20, 2018 at 2:25pm
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Public debt in Cyprus recorded the largest annual decrease in the EU, with -11.3 points, moving from 106% of GDP a year ago to 94.7% in Q1 2018, according to Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU. More specifically, debt levels declined from 19.548 billion in Q1 2017 to €18.725 billion in Q4 2018 and €18.451 billion in Q1 2018, an -11.3 points annual drop, or  -2.8 points compared to the previous quarter.

Compared with the first quarter of 2017, only Greece (+2.7 pp) registered an increase in its debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and twenty seven Member States a decrease. The largest decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-11.3 pp), Ireland (-6.5 pp), Croatia (-6.4 pp), Malta (-6.2 pp) and Slovenia (-5.3 pp).

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, twelve Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and sixteen a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Belgium (+2.9 percentage points – pp), Greece (+1.8 pp), Italy (+1.6 pp), Slovenia (+1.4 pp) and the Czech Republic (+1.1 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Latvia (-4.4 pp), Lithuania (-3.5 pp), Cyprus (-2.8 pp) and Sweden (-2.6 pp).

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 86.8%, compared with 86.7% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.6% to 81.5%. Compared with the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 89.2% to 86.8%) and the EU28 (from 83.6% to 81.5%).

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, debt securities accounted for 80.8% of euro area and for 81.7% of EU28 general government debt. Loans made up 16.2% and 14.2% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.0% of euro area and 4.1% of EU28 government debt.

Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted government deficit decreased to 0.1% of GDP in the euro area Down to 0.5% of GDP in the EU28 In the first quarter of 2018, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.1% in the euro area (EA19), a decrease compared with 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.5%, a decrease compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter.

In the first quarter of 2018, total government revenue in the euro area amounted to 46.3% of GDP, an increase compared with 46.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total government expenditure in the euro area stood at 46.4% of GDP, a decrease compared with 46.8% in the previous quarter. In the EU28, total government revenue was 44.8% of GDP in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 44.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total government expenditure in the EU28 was 45.4% of GDP, compared with 45.6% in the previous quarter.