Public debt falls to €272.7 billion in April

  • ECO News
  • 1 June 2021

The country's public debt, in Maastricht terms, fell by €2.5 billion in April, to €272.7 billion.

Public debt, from the Maastricht perspective, fell by €2.5 billion in April to €272.7 billion, according to data published on Tuesday by the Bank of Portugal (BoP). In March, public debt had reached a record high of €275.3 billion.

“In April, public debt stood at €272.7 billion, a €2.5 billion reduction from the end of March,” the central bank reveals, explaining that this reduction “was mainly driven by a decrease in debt securities.” At stake is a bond of €8 billion that was repaid on April 15, according to the IGCP bulletin.

As for the public debt ratio, it rose 3.5 percentage points (p.p.) in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 (133.6% of GDP). This results from two effects: on the one hand, GDP contracted by 3.3% in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter; on the other hand, the monthly amount of public debt grew by €4.8 billion in the first quarter.

Despite this increase at the beginning of 2021, the ratio is expected to decrease in the coming quarters given the strong recovery of the economy, which should lead to double-digit GDP growths in the second quarter. The government’s forecast is to reach the end of 2021 with a public debt ratio at 128% of GDP. That’s 5.6 percentage points (p.p.) less than 2020. This forecast underpins an annual growth of the economy of 4% and a deficit of 4.5% of GDP in 2021.