Portugal’s public debt continues to fall

 In News, Public debt, Public Finances

Portugal’s debt, which currently stands at 113.8% of GDP, saw the third largest fall in debt in the euro area after Spain and France.

It fell 10.8 percentage points compared to the same period last year, closing March with a GDP to public debt ratio of 113.8% – almost the same as Spain and France (112.8% and 112.4% respectively) according to data from the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat, which was published today. (Friday, 21 July)
In absolute terms, Portugal has a total public of €279.8Bn, up €3.1Bn in annual terms. Portugal’s Finance minister Fernando Medina’s goal is to remove Portugal from the podia euro area countries with the highest public debts. This reduction has benefited by a large measure from economic growth which has lowered the ratio that according to government forecasts should fall to 107.5% of GDP by the end of this year.
This helps to understand why Portugal’s public debt has increased in absolute terms but has fallen in relation to GDP.
According to Eurostat, Greece registered the greatest fall in public debt, but is also the most indebted country in the euro area at 168.3% of GDP in Q1, with debt falling 21.2% on Q1 in 2022.
Italy has the second highest debt at 143.5% of GDP, falling 7.9%. Estonia, Bulgaria and Luxembourg have the lowest public debts in the region, between 20% and 30% of GDP, while the average for the euro area is 91.2%.
On the other hand, Portugal was one of five member States that enjoyed a public account surplus in Q1 with a 1.8% improvement on the same period in 2022.

Photo: Lusa (EPA), Olivier Matthys.