Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ireland’s debt levels make for sobering reading

IRELAND’S government debt increased by 5.9pc to an eye-watering 117pc in the third quarter of last year, according to new figures

The Government said in the Budget that the debt to GDP ratio would peak at 121pc next year.

Overall, the euro area failed to reduce its overall government debt in the third quarter of last year.

This was despite efforts by several states to improve their finances by cutting spending and raising taxes.

Total government debt for the euro zone, relative to its annual economic output, was barely changed at 90pc of gross domestic product in the third quarter of 2012.

This compared with 89.9pc for three months earlier, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said. It was up from 86.8pc of GDP a year earlier.

Government debt across the entire 27-nation EU totalled 85.1% at the end of September, compared with 85% in June, Eurostat said.

Over three years after Europe's debt crisis started, the euro zone only registers very meagre growth, and seven countries are still in recession - Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Slovenia, and Finland - according to Eurostat.

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