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

Estonia's government debt to GDP ratio remained the lowest in the EU by a significant margin.
Estonia's government debt to GDP ratio remained the lowest in the EU by a significant margin. Source: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters/Scanpix

In the second quarter of 2019, Estonia maintained its position as the state with the lowest ratio of government debt to GDP in the European Union, while the ratio was highest in Greece.

Estonia's government debt to GDP ratio increased by 1.3 percentage points or 389 million euros to 9.3 percent compared with the first quarter of the year and amounted to 2.5 billion euros by the end of June, it appears from data available from Eurostat.

The Treasury of Estonia for the first time sold 200 million euros' worth of treasury bills with a negative yield at an auction in June.

As a result of the auction, the Treasury auctioned 100 million euros' worth of treasury bills for six months with an average yield to maturity of -0.063 percent and another 100 million euros for 12 months with an average yield of -0,19 percent.

The lowest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2019 were recorded in Estonia, 9.3 percent, Luxembourg, 20.3 percent, and Bulgari, 20.4 percent.

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2019 were recorded in Greece, 180.2 percent, Italy, 138 percent, Portugal, 121.2 percent, Cyprus, 107.2 percent, and Belgium, 104.7 percent.

Compared with the first quarter of 2019, 10 member states registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the
end of the second quarter of 2019 and sixteen a decrease, while the ratio remained stable in Spain and France.

The highest increases in the ratio were observed in Cyprus, 4 percentage points, Lithuania, 2.1 percentage points, and Finland, 1.8 percentage points. The largest decreases were recorded in Portugal, 2.5 percentage points, Greece, 1.9 percentage points, and Ireland, 1.6 percentage points.

At the end of the second quarter of 2019, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area stood at
86.4 percent, compared with 86.5 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2019. In the EU, the ratio decreased from 81.1 percent to 80.5 percent. Compared with the second quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area, from 87.3 percent to 86.4 percent, and the EU, from 81.5 percent to 80.5 percent. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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