Public debt goes up, at €248bn in January

  • ECO News
  • 1 March 2019

Pubic debt increased in January, stepping up to €248BN that month, according to the data released by the Bank of Portugal this Friday.

Public debt is on the rise, having increased €3 billion between December and January, reaching €248 billion that month, the Bank of Portugal (BdP) announced this Friday. The Portuguese Treasury and Debt management agency (IGCP) went to the market by the beginning of the year to get €4BN, an amount which covers around 25% of 2019’s financing needs.

In December 2018, the stock of Portuguese public debt stood at €244.9 BN, which represents 121.5% of GDP. The public administration’s debt last year showed a decreasing tendency, which was a result of the country paying its debt to the IMF.

However, the beginning of 2019 shows a very different outlook. On January 9, the country issued ten-year treasury bonds. That operation allowed the country to get €4bn in financing, at an interest rate below 2%.

The IGCP is resorting, as usual, to the banking syndicate for their first financing operation of the year,  in which they are opening a new bond operation which will serve as a reference for the next ten years. For this year, the government is planning to issue bonds worth €15.8bn, which are expected to be the state’s main source of financing.

With the operation done earlier this year, the IGCP has already assured a quarter of the state’s needs for 2019.

In 2019, the government is expecting debt to reach 118.5% of GDP, and public debt is still one of the main concerns for the country, and for all the institutions which are accompanying its evolution.  The European Commission has announced earlier this week that Portugal’s economic performance is overall improving but maintaining some imbalances, among which it highlighted the high public debt ratio. That has been one of the main arguments used by the government to justify the policymaking surrounding the reduction of the budgetary deficit, despite it having reached a rather balanced level.