PUBLIC FINANCES

Spanish public debt ended 2013 at its highest level in a century

Figure has almost tripled in five years to 93.7 percent of GDP

Spain’s public debt is on course to surpass the size of its economy as the balance at the end of 2013 stood at 961.555 billion euros, 93.7 percent of last year’s GDP.

Public debt has tripled since the start of the current crisis around 2008 and now stands at its highest level in a century, according to the historical series compiled by the IMF, which puts Spain’s all-time record at 123 percent of GDP.

The government’s initial target for the debt/GDP ratio for last year was 90.5 percent, but it subsequently raised that figure to 94.2 percent. Debt has been swelled by persistent deficits, fueled in part by ballooning unemployment benefits because of the high jobless rate and by the European bailout of some 41 billion euros to clean up the banking system.

After emerging in the third quarter of last year from its longest recession since the restoration of democracy, the Spanish economy faces a scenario of weak growth over the next few years, complicating the task of reducing the country’s level of indebtedness to more sustainable levels. The austerity drive to reduce the deficit has also weighed on activity, producing a sort of vicious cycle like a dog chasing its own tail.

In 2007 before the crisis broke, the debt/GDP ratio stood at 36 percent, practically half the average in Europe. In the third quarter of last year, it hit 93.4 percent, compared with an average for the euro zone of 92.2 percent, according to figures from the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat. In that quarter, the single-currency zone managed to reduce its indebtedness for the first time since 2007, while Spain experienced the biggest increase after Cyprus and Greece.

The government expects debt to stabilize at 100 percent of GDP in 2016, although the 2014 state budget acknowledges that the ratio could exceed 100 percent in 2015.

Y ADEMÁS...

Para poder comentar debes estar registrado en Eskup y haber iniciado sesión

Darse de alta ¿Por qué darse de alta?

Otras noticias

LATIN AMERICA

Mamá Rosa has dementia, says Prosecutor General

The 80-year-old founder of La Gran Familia no longer has the capacity to run the shelter

China and Cuba sign 29 cooperation agreements

Maye Primera Miami

Castro is working to attract foreign investment to jumpstart Cuban economy

Mexico ends 76-year-old state oil and gas monopoly

Opposition PRD threatens to use legal tools to force repeal of reform package that allows private and foreign investment

Ecuador takes on debt in order to grow

Country’s deficit exceeded $5 billion last year, five times more than in 2012

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana