Government debt/GDP ratio above 86 pct in eurozone

Eurozone’s government-debt-to-GDP ratio inched up to 86.8 percent in the first quarter of this year from 86.7 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, Eurostat said on Friday

The government-debt-to-GDP ratio in the European Union (EU28) fell to 81.5 percent during the same period, according to Eurostat data.

“Compared with the first quarter of 2017, the government-debt-to-GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 89.2 percent to 86.8 percent) and the EU28 (from 83.6 percent to 81.5 percent),” it said in a statement.

Among EU countries, Greece posted the highest ratio of government-debt-to-GDP with 180.4 percent from January to March. It was followed by Italy (133.4 percent), Portugal (126.4 percent), and Belgium (106.3 percent).

The lowest debt ratios during the same period were seen in Estonia at 8.7 percent, Luxembourg at 22.2 percent, and Bulgaria at 24.1 percent.

Eurostat noted that compared to the fourth quarter of last year, 12 member states saw an increase in their debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, while 16 posted a decrease.

Source: AA