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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Significant differences in government debt held by non-residents


In 2013, in the EU28, 81% of government debt was financed by issuing securities (bills, bonds, etc. excluding shares and financial derivatives), 16% by loans and 4% by currency and deposits.

This information comes from a report, released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This report, based on a survey of the structure of government debt, provides information on general government debt broken down by subsector, financial instrument, debt holder, maturity, currency of issuance as well as government guarantees and other features.

Malta, Czech Republic and United Kingdom: 90% or more of government debt financed by securities other than shares

In 2013, Malta (92% of total government debt), the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom (both 90%), Belgium and Slovenia (both 87%), Slovakia (86%), France and Italy (both 84%) registered the highest proportions of debt financed by securities. The use of loans was highest in Estonia (86%), Greece (75%), Cyprus (59%) and Latvia (54%). The use of currency and deposits was in general very low, except in Ireland (10%), the United Kingdom (9%) and Italy (8%).

Government debt held by non-residents ranged from 82% in Finland to 2% in Luxembourg

There was a significant difference between Member States in which sector held the government debt. In 2013, the share of public debt held by the non-resident sector was highest in Finland (82% of total government debt), Latvia (80%), Austria (72%), Lithuania (70%), Slovenia (69%) and Portugal (66%). The largest shares of debt held by the resident financial sector were observed in Luxembourg (98%), Romania (71%) and Croatia (63%). Generally, 10% or less of debt was held by the resident non-financial sector, with the exception of Poland (34%), Malta (33%) and Italy (13%).