Portugal’s public debt down to €269.8 billion in January

  • ECO News
  • 1 March 2021

The country's public debt registered a decrease of 600 million euros in January, down to 269.8 billion euros.

Portugal’s public debt, from the Maastricht perspective, fell by 600 million euros in January to 269.8 billion euros, according to data released on Monday by the Bank of Portugal (BoP). In December, public debt had reached a record high of 270.4 billion euros, having risen by 20 billion euros in 2020.

In January, “public debt stood at 269.8 billion euros, a 0.6 billion euros decrease from the end of December. This was mainly driven by a decrease in debt securities (0.3 billion euros) and deposits liabilities (0.2 billion euros),” the BdP explains in the statistical information note. Despite the drop, the stock of public debt at the beginning of 2021 is the second highest ever, only below that of December.

Portugal’s central bank also updated the public debt ratio in 2020, which was revised slightly downwards from 133.7% to 133.4%.

The data made available by the Bank of Portugal also reveal that general government deposits “decreased by 0.7 billion euros, with public debt net of deposits increasing by 0.1 billion euros from the previous month, to a total of 246.6 billion euros.”

According to the 2021 State Budget proposal, the government expects the public debt ratio to fall in 2021, down to 130.9% of GDP. However, this number will have to be revised upwards, since the Finance Minister has already admitted that this year the budget deficit will be higher and GDP growth will be lower than forecast in the 2021 State Budget.