Spain marks the second largest deficit and the fourth largest debt in the EU in the third quarter of 2021




The negative budget imbalance of the European Union (EU) was reduced in the third quarter of 2021 to 3.7% of GDP from 5.8% in the previous three months, while in the Eurozone it fell to 4% from 6.4%, with Malta as the country with the largest deficit, with 8.1%, followed by Spain, with 7.3%, according to Eurostat data.

As regards public debt, the EU's ratio to GDP moderated in the third quarter of last year to 90.1% from 90.9% in the previous quarter, while in the Eurozone, indebtedness fell to 97.7% of GDP, compared to 98.3% of the previous three months.

Among the Twenty-seven, the highest public debt ratios in the third quarter of 2021 corresponded to Greece (200.7%), Italy (155.3%), Portugal (130.5%) and Spain (121.8%).

On their side, France (116%), Belgium (111.4%) and Cyprus (109.6%) also registered debt levels above the EU and Eurozone average, while the countries with the lowest proportion of debt relative to the size of the economy were Estonia (19.6%), Bulgaria (24.2%) and Luxembourg (25.3%).

Compared to the second quarter of 2021, seven EU Member States recorded increases in the debt ratio and twenty decreases. The largest increases were observed in Hungary (+2.9 percentage points), France (+1.5) and Romania (+1.1), while the decreases were recorded in Greece (-6.6), Portugal (- 4.9), Croatia (-3.7), Cyprus and Belgium (both -2.3), Czechia (-2.2), and Austria (-2.1).

Compared to the same period in 2020, Spain recorded the largest increase in the public debt ratio (+7.8 percentage points), followed by Hungary (6.5), Malta (+5.7), Austria (+5.6) and Romania (+5.5), while the largest annual declines were seen in Cyprus (-6.4), Ireland (- 3.6), and the Netherlands (-2.5).

Regarding the deficit, all the EU countries for which data were available recorded a negative imbalance in public accounts in the third quarter.

The largest deficit was recorded in Malta, with -8.1%, ahead of -7.3% in Spain and 7.1% in Romania. In contrast, the smallest negative imbalances were observed in Sweden, with -0.4%; Lithuania, with -0.9%; Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, with -1% each.

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