External debt falls to €1.61 trillion


Ireland’s external debt continued to fall, standing at €1.61 trillion at the end of December 2009, a decrease of €26 billion compared with the end of September.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) include general government, the monetary authority, financial and non-financial corporations and households.

The liabilities of monetary authorities and financial institutions were both down compared to figures recorded at the end of September, the CSO said. Credit institutions and money market funds had debt of €661 billion at the end of last year, a fall of close to €30 billion compared to three months earlier, and a decline of €107 billion compared to a year earlier.

However, general Government foreign borrowing rose €2 billion to €75 billion between the end of September and December 31st 2009 as new long-term debt securities were issued, off-setting redemptions in short-term securities. Compared to a year earlier, it was €17 billion higher.

Intra-group borrowing and fluctuating exchange rates accounted for a rise in direct investment debt liabilities of €10 billion to €210 billion.