Cyprus records largest annual decrease in public debt, among EU M-S, during Q1 2018, with -11.3 points

Public debt in Cyprus recorded the largest annual decrease in the EU, with -11.3 points, moving from 106% of GDP a year ago to 94.7% in Q1 2018, according to Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU. More specifically, debt levels declined form 19,548 billion euro in Q1 2017 to 18,725 billion in Q4 2018 and 18,451 billion in Q1 2018, an -11.3 points annual drop, or -2.8 points compared to the previous quarter.

Compared with the first quarter of 2017, only Greece (+2.7 pp) registered an increase in its debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and twenty seven Member States a decrease. The largest decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-11.3 pp), Ireland (-6.5 pp), Croatia (-6.4 pp), Malta (-6.2 pp) and Slovenia (-5.3 pp).

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, twelve Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the first quarter of 2018, and sixteen a decrease. The highest increases in the ratio were recorded in Belgium (+2.9 percentage points � pp), Greece (+1.8 pp), Italy (+1.6 pp), Slovenia (+1.4 pp) and the Czech Republic (+1.1 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Latvia (-4.4 pp), Lithuania (-3.5 pp), Cyprus (-2.8 pp) and Sweden (-2.6 pp).

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA19) stood at 86.8%, compared with 86.7% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the ratio decreased from 81.6% to 81.5%. Compared with the first quarter of 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio fell in both the euro area (from 89.2% to 86.8%) and the EU28 (from 83.6% to 81.5%).

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, debt securities accounted for 80.8% of euro area and for 81.7% of EU28 general government debt. Loans made up 16.2% and 14.2% respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.0% of euro area and 4.1% of EU28 government debt.

Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted government deficit decreased to 0.1% of GDP in the euro area Down to 0.5% of GDP in the EU28 In the first quarter of 2018, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.1% in the euro area (EA19), a decrease compared with 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.5%, a decrease compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter.

In the first quarter of 2018, total government revenue in the euro area amounted to 46.3% of GDP, an increase compared with 46.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total government expenditure in the euro area stood at 46.4% of GDP, a decrease compared with 46.8% in the previous quarter. In the EU28, total government revenue was 44.8% of GDP in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 44.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total government expenditure in the EU28 was 45.4% of GDP, compared with 45.6% in the previous quarter.

Source: Cyprus News Agency