Ireland’s national debt rose to €198bn last year

Central Bank figures reveal slight increase in State’s indebtedness

The CSO’s new measure indicates that government debt peaked at 160 per cent in 2012. Photograph: AP

The CSO’s new measure indicates that government debt peaked at 160 per cent in 2012. Photograph: AP

 

Ireland’s national debt stood at €198 billion at the end of last year, up 1 per cent from the previous year, figures from the Central Bank show.

While debt as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) has been falling, overall debt has fluctuated in tandem with Government borrowing.

As a percentage of GDP, Ireland’s debt was about 73 per cent last year.

However, this jumps to 106 per cent when expressed in modified gross national income (GNI)terms, which the Central Statistics Office (CSO) believes is a better indicator of true activity.

When applied retrospectively, the CSO’s new measure indicates that government debt peaked at 160 per cent in 2012 compared to a reported debt-to-GDP ratio of 120 per cent, suggesting the crash burned a comparatively bigger hole in the State’s finances than previously thought.