Estonia's government debt to GDP ratio still lowest in EU in first quarter ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Euros.
Euros. Source: (Marco Verch/Wikimedia Commons)

Estonia continued to be the EU member state with the lowest government debt to GDP ratio in the first quarter of 2020, whereas the largest government debt level was recorded in Greece.

Government debt to GDP ratio in Estonia was 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the lowest among member states of the EU, followed by Bulgaria with 20.3 percent and Luxembourg with 22.3, it appears from data available from Eurostat. 

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the first quarter of 2020 were recorded in Greece, 176.7 percent, Italy, 137.6 percent, and Portugal, 120 percent.

The government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at 86.3 percent, compared with 84.1 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the EU, the ratio increased from 77.7 percent to 79.5 percent.  

Compared with the first quarter 2019, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area, from 86.4 percent to 86.3 percent, and the EU, from 80.0 percent to 79.5 percent.

Compared with the first quarter of 2019, ten member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2020 and 16 a decrease.

The largest increase in the ratio was recorded in Finland, by 4.7 pp, while the largest decrease was observed in Ireland, by -5.6 pp. The ratio in Estonia grew by 1.1 percentage points.

At the end of the first quarter of 2020, debt securities accounted for 80.9 percent of euro area and for 80.6 percent of EU general government debt. Loans made up 15.5 percent and 15.9 percent respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.5 percent of euro area and 3.4 percent of EU government debt. 

Estonia's Q1 general govt deficit to GDP ratio higher than EU average

The seasonally adjusted government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 4.2 percent in Estonia in the first quarter of 2020, higher than the average for the EU and euro area.

The general government deficit to GDP ratio was 2.3 percent in the EU and 2.2 percent in the euro area, it appears from data available from Eurostat. The ratio was 0.7 percent both in the EU and the euro area in the preceding quarter.

Government deficit in Estonia grew by 3.9 percentage points in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020, total government revenue in the euro area amounted to 47 percent of GDP, an increase by 0.6 percentage points compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. Total government expenditure in the euro area stood at 49.2 percent of GDP, a significant increase compared with 47.1 percent in the previous quarter.

In the EU, total government revenue was 46.3 percent of GDP in the first quarter of 2020, an increase compared to 46 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2019. Total government expenditure in the EU was 48.6 percent of GDP, an increase compared with 46.7 percent of GDP in the previous quarter.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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