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BUDGET

Finance Ministry corrects public debt projection figure for 2014

Estimate is now 98.9 percent of GDP instead of 99.8 percent

The secretary of state for the budget, Marta Fernández Currás.
The secretary of state for the budget, Marta Fernández Currás. EFE

The government on Thursday corrected an error in the projected figure it gave for outstanding public debt in the draft state budget for next year, reducing it by 0.9 percentage points to 98.9 percent of GDP, up from an estimated 94.2 percent this year.

“It’s not much but it distances us more from 100 percent of GDP,” the secretary of state for the budget, Marta Fernández Currás told the congressional commission on the budget.

The downward revision is equivalent to about 10 billion euros. However, outstanding public debt is still expected to exceed a record one trillion euros at the end of next year, with Spain exceeding the average in the euro zone for the first time ver.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Spain’s outstanding public debt last exceeded 100 percent at the start of last century, with the country expected to hit that figure again in 2015.

Outstanding public debt has increased more since the Popular Party government took office in December 2011 than during the eight years that the previous Socialist government was in power.

In his presentation of the budget earlier this week, Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro admitted he was “worried” about the size of Spain’s debt, but added that servicing that debt is becoming increasingly easier.