Euro zone's debt rises in first quarter, set to peak this year

New figures show nearly 80 per cent of the euro zone’s debt is in bonds and treasury bills

Twice bailed-out Greece was the euro zone’s most indebted country with sovereign debt of 174.1 per cent of GDP

Twice bailed-out Greece was the euro zone’s most indebted country with sovereign debt of 174.1 per cent of GDP

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 11:58

Euro zone public debt rose to 93.9 per cent of economic output in the first quarter of this year, approaching the peak it is expected to reach later in 2014, official data showed on Tuesday.

Government debt of the 18 countries sharing the euro stood at €9.055 trillion in the first three months of this year, compared to €8.905 trillion in the last quarter of 2013, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said.

The EU’s executive arm - the European Commission - expects the debt to peak at 96 per cent of gross domestic product this year and then ease to 95.4 per cent of GDP in 2015.

Nearly 80 per cent of the euro zone’s debt is in bonds and treasury bills. Loans account for 17.9 per cent of the debt.

Twice bailed-out Greece was the euro zone’s most indebted country with sovereign debt of 174.1 per cent of GDP, followed by the third-biggest economy Italy, with debt equivalent to 135.6 per cent of GDP in the first quarter.

Only two countries - Germany and Luxembourg - saw their debt fall compared with the last quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2013.

Reuters