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Debt moderates below 110% of GDP in the third quarter, but marks a record of 1,577 trillion

The debt-to-GDP ratio falls more than four points in a year due to the boost in the economy.

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Debt moderates below 110% of GDP in the third quarter, but marks a record of 1,577 trillion

The debt-to-GDP ratio falls more than four points in a year due to the boost in the economy

The debt of all public administrations rose in the third quarter to the historical maximum of 1,577 trillion euros, which represents an increase in relative terms of 0.5% compared to the previous quarter, although the ratio over GDP moderated to 109.9%, according to data published this Friday by the Bank of Spain.

In the interannual rate, it increased by 4.8% compared to the same quarter of last year, with 72,553 million more, as a result of lower income and higher expenses derived from the impact, in recent years, of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the escalation of prices.

However, the debt/GDP ratio stood at 109.9% in the third quarter of 2023, which represents a moderation in the weight of the debt of more than one point compared to the figure for the second quarter, when it reached 111. 2%, and more than four points below compared to the same period last year, when it stood at 114%.

The 2024 budget plan sent to Brussels last October suggests that the good progress of the economy - which is expected to grow by 2.3% in 2023 according to the Executive's forecasts - will allow the debt/GDP ratio to be reduced up to 108.1% already in 2023, advancing by one year the objective of placing it below 110%.

Government estimates suggest that the downward path of public debt will continue in the coming years, as it is expected to fall from 106.3% in 2024, to 105.4% in 2025 and to 104.4% in 2026.


By administration, public debt increased in all between the months of July and September of this year. Thus, the debt of the Central Administration rose in the third quarter to 1,434 billion euros, 5.5% more than a year ago, which represents 99.9% of GDP, compared to 103% the previous year.

For its part, the debt of the autonomous communities grew by 1.6% year-on-year, to 319,924 million euros in the third quarter, equivalent to 22.3% of GDP - compared to 23.9% last year - .

In the case of local corporations, their debt stood at 23,255 million in the third quarter of 2023, which represents an increase of 1.9% compared to the same period in 2022. The ratio over GDP was slightly reduced to 1, 6%, compared to 1.7% last year.

Finally, the debt of the Social Security administrations climbed to 106,172 million euros between July and September, with an increase of 7% in one year. The GDP ratio drops slightly from 7.5% a year ago to 7.4% in 2023.

The increase in absolute values ​​is due to the loans granted by the State to the General Treasury of Social Security to finance a significant part of its budget imbalance. These loans, as they are financial operations between subsectors, do not affect the total debt of the Public Administrations sector.

According to Government estimates, the debt of the Central Administration and Social Security will be 83.2% of GDP in 2024, to fall to 83% in 2025 and reach 82.8% in 2026. In the case of the autonomous communities , it is estimated that the debt will be 21.7% in 2024, 21% in 2025 and 20.3% in 2026, while that of local entities will be 1.4% in 2024 and 1.3% in 2025 and in 2026.


Within the autonomous communities, the debt rose in absolute terms in all regions compared to the third quarter of last year, except the Basque Country, Murcia, La Rioja, Catalonia, Cantabria and the Balearic Islands.

Catalonia (84,549 million euros), Valencian Community (55,235 million), Andalusia (37,485 million) and Madrid (36,360 million) continue to concentrate two thirds of all debt in the hands of the autonomous governments in the third quarter, although it is also due to a population issue.

Next are the communities of Castilla-La Mancha (15,688 million), Castilla y León (14,042 million), Galicia (12,083 million), Murcia (11,487 million) and the Basque Country (10,851 million).

Closing the table are Aragón (9,133 million), Balearic Islands (8,874 million), Canary Islands (6,672 million), Extremadura (5,226 million), Asturias (4,202 million), Cantabria (3,246 million), Navarra (3,167 million) and La Rioja (1,622 millions).

However, in percentage of GDP, the Valencian Community, with a debt that represents 41.2%, continues to lead the most indebted regions in relation to its wealth, followed by Castilla-La Mancha (31.2%), Catalonia , with 31%, and Region of Murcia (30%).

They are followed by the Balearic Islands (24.6%), Extremadura (21.8%), Castilla y León (20.3%), Aragon (20.2%), Cantabria (19.7%), Andalusia (19.6% ), Galicia (16.1%), La Rioja (15.8%), Asturias (15.1%), Canary Islands (13.2%), Navarra (13.1%), Community of Madrid (13%) and Basque Country (12.7%).


By size of municipalities, those with more than 300,000 inhabitants accumulated a debt of 5,087 million euros between July and September, 50 million more than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Specifically, Madrid, with a debt of 1,888 million euros, continues to lead the most indebted local corporations, followed by Barcelona, ​​with 1,158 million, and Zaragoza, with 601 million.