Spain once again takes the top positions in European statistics, but not in growth data, but in debt and deficit. Our country registered the third highest public deficit rate in the European Union in the second quarter of this year, 7.3% of GDP, and the fourth in terms of the level of debt, 122.8% of the GDP, as published this morning by Eurostat.
Our country thus remains at the head of Europe in deficit and debt despite the fact that the figures have given a certain respite accompanied by the advance in vaccination and the improvement of the economic tone after the lesser restrictions imposed on the activity. In fact, the Spanish deficit fell 1.1 percentage points in the second quarter with respect to the 8,5% which marked in the first quarter of the year.
However, it remains among the highest in the European Union, only surpassed by the 9.6% from France and 8.5% from Hungary. Nor is the news better when it comes to public debt. The 122.8% of Spain in relation to GDP is only surpassed by Greece (207.2%), Italy (156.3%) and Portugal (135.4%).
In addition, Eurostat indicates our country as one of the countries that increased the debt level the most. «The largest increases in the debt ratio were recorded in Greece (+15,9%), Spain (+12,5%), Malta (+ 10.8%) and Portugal (+9.1 points%), while decreases were observed in Ireland (-3,1%), Denmark (-1.5%) and Netherlandss (-0.8%) “, remarks Eurostat.
Despite the deep scar that the pandemic has left in the public accounts of the Old Continent, vaccination is beginning to be noticed, albeit timidly, throughout the Eurozone in a generalized way. The data published this morning by the Community Statistical Office reveal that the euro zone deficit fell two tenths of a percentage compared to the previous three months (from 7.1% to 6.9%) and three tenths in the European Union as a whole (from 6.6% to 6.3%). For its part, public debt fell 1.7 percentage points in the euro area (from 100% to 98.3%) and 1.5 points in the community club (from 92.4% to 90.9%).
The road to normalization of public accounts after the stake of the pandemic seems long and tedious. Only two of the Member States for which Eurostat has data in the second quarter achieved a surplus: Luxembourg and Denmark. The countries with the lowest debt rates were Estonia (19.6%), Bulgaria (24.7%) and Luxembourg (26.2%).
‘In both the euro area and the EU, the decline in the public debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of the second quarter was due to the recovery in GDP, while debt continued to rise due to the financing needs of the policies adopted to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic, ”says Eurostat.
And it is that despite the fact that public spending destined to lessen the effects of the pandemic fell somewhat in the period, public income has not yet managed to rise. According to Eurostat, total public revenue in the euro area amounted to 46.2% of GDP, somewhat less than 46.7% in the first quarter of 2021. As regards public spending, it amounted to 53.1% of GDP , a figure that is below the 53.8% of the first quarter of the year.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism