Public debt falls in October to 251.4 billion with early payment to European creditors

  • ECO News
  • 2 December 2019

Public debt fell in October to 251.4 billion euros, with the advance payment of 2 billion euros to European creditors.

Public debt retreated to 251.4 billion euros in October compared to 252.3 billion euros recorded the previous month, reveal the data published this Monday by the Bank of Portugal. The €900 million decrease in public debt in that month benefited from the advance payment to European creditors.

On October 17th, the Portuguese Treasury paid 2,000 million euros to the European Financial Stabilisation Fund (EFSF), which resulted in the first advance payment to European creditors, after the debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had been paid off.

“In October 2019, public debt stood at 251.4 billion euros, down 900 million euros from the end of September. This reduction was mainly due to the reduction in loan liabilities, which was due to the early repayment of 2 billion euros of loans obtained under the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) of the Economic and Financial Assistance Programme, and which was partly offset by the increase in debt securities,” writes the central bank.

Bank of Portugal data also reveal that in the third quarter the public debt ratio was lower than that reported a month ago when central bank economists used the rapid estimate of GDP, put forward by the National Statistics Institute (INE), to calculate the share of public debt in wealth produced.

Thus, in September, the public debt ratio was 120.6% of GDP, instead of 121.1% of GDP. At the end of June, the ratio was 121.2% of GDP. The correction between June and September was higher than expected, thanks to the evolution of the economy.

According to the draft State Budget for 2020 that the government sent to Brussels on 15 October, the public debt is expected to close the year at 119.3% of GDP, falling to 116.2% of GDP next year.

“Assets in government deposits fell by 2.8 billion euros, so that the public debt net of deposits registered an increase of 1.9 billion euros compared to the previous month, totalling 234.2 billion euros,” adds the central bank.