Public debt soared in the second quarter of 2020 both in the European Union and in the euro area due to increased needs for financing to mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, a Eurostat report showed on Thursday.
In the EU, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio reached 87.7% in the second quarter of the year, up from 79.4% in the first quarter. In the euro area, the ratio jumped from 86.3% to 95.1%.
The highest general government deficit to GDP ratio was recorded in Greece (187.4%), followed by Portugal (126.1%), Belgium (115.3%), France (114.1%), Cyprus (113.2%) and Spain (110.1%). The lowest ratios were observed in Estonia (18.5%), Bulgaria (21.3%) and Luxembourg (23.8%).
In Croatia, the ratio was 85.3%, with public debt amounting to HRK 329.6 billion, while at the end of the first quarter it was 74.3%, or HRK 298.8 billion. At the end of the second quarter in 2019, the ratio was 75.9%, or HRK 297.18 billion.
Compared with the first quarter of the year, the general government deficit to GDP ratio jumped the most in Cyprus, by 17.1 percentage points. France, Italy and Spain followed with increases of 12.8 pp, 11.8 pp and 11.8 pp respectively.
Croatia and Belgium saw their respective ratios go up by 11 percentage points.
Compared with the second quarter of 2019, the general government deficit to GDP ratio grew in all EU member states except Ireland, where it decreased by 0.3 percentage points.
The highest increases were recorded in France (+14.9 pp), Belgium (+12.9 pp), Italy (+11.9 pp) and Spain (+11.7 pp), while the lowest increases were observed in Sweden (+1.0 pp) and Bulgaria (+1.4 pp).
Croatia saw its ratio rise by 9.4% year on year.