Portugal ends 2017 with a 242.6 billion public debt, higher than in 2016

  • ECO News
  • 1 February 2018

Portugal's debt in 2017 was 1.6 billion euros higher than in the previous year: it stood at 242.6 billion euros.

Public debt plunged again in December for the fourth consecutive month, after the Government’s reimbursement of one billion to euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on that month. However, the amount stood higher than in 2016. Portugal ended the year with a 242.6 billion euros’ debt , an amount that stands 1.6 billion euros above debt registered in the end of 2016. Even so, the amount stands below the Government’s goal.

These data were published by the Bank of Portugal this Thursday. The central bank justifies the yearly increase with debt issuances. “This increase was due to developments in government debt securities (€9.4 billion) and Treasury certificates (€3.8 billion)”, according to the note issued by the Bank of Portugal.

At the end of 2017, public debt stood at €242.6 billion, an increase of €1.6 billion from 2016.

Bank of Portugal

The debt increase could have been more significant, but early reimbursements to IMF balanced out the accounts. “These changes were partially offset by the early repayment to the amount of approximately €10.0 billion from IMF loans under the Economic and Financial Assistance Programme”, states the Bank of Portugal.

In spite of the increase in comparison to 2016, in absolute terms, public debt stood below the goal that had been set by the Government, of around 242.9 billion euros. We still need to know if the goal for the debt to GDP ratio will be met. The Government inscribed, on the 2018 State Budget, the goal for public debt was 126.2% of GDP for 2017, but this number will be published by Statistics Portugal (INE) on the flash estimates of the evolution of the fourth quarter accounts.

The Bank of Portugal also reveals that public debt net of general government deposits registered a 4.6 billion euros’ increase in comparison to 2016, totaling 223 billion euros.