Public debt totals almost 20,000 million in February and registers maximums of 1.6 trillion

MADRID, 22 Abr.

Public debt totals almost 20,000 million in February and registers maximums of 1.6 trillion


The debt of all public administrations rose by 19,549 million euros in February compared to the previous month (1.2%), reaching 1,602,662 million euros, a new historical maximum, according to data published this Monday by the Bank from Spain.

This increase means that the debt of public administrations exceeds the barrier of 1.6 trillion euros for the first time in history, above the record reached in January of 1.583 trillion euros.

In the last year, the public debt has grown by 5.4%, with an increase of 82,416 million euros, as a result of the higher expenses derived from the pandemic crisis and the war in Ukraine and the rise in prices.

In this monthly preview, the Bank of Spain does not offer data on the weight of debt over GDP - measured as a quarterly percentage -, but the latest data released suggests that at the end of 2023 the ratio at 107.7%.

Thus, the public debt in 2023 closed at a better ratio than expected by the Government (108.1%), thanks to the boost in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which ended the year with a growth of 2.5%, according to the advance of data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

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

The monthly increase in debt in February is mainly due to the increase in debt of the State and the autonomous communities, while that of the city councils has registered a slight decrease and that of Social Security has remained at the same figure.

Specifically, in February the State debt stood at 1,441,876 million euros, which represents an increase of 1.3% and 18,567 million euros more in one month, while in the last twelve months it has risen by 6.9%.

For their part, the autonomous communities have increased their debt compared to the month of January to 327,881 million euros, some 3,735 million euros more (1.2%), while in an interannual rate they experienced a rise of 3.2%.

For its part, Social Security debt has remained practically at the same level in February, with 116,171 million euros, one million less compared to January. The year-on-year increase is 9.4%.

The Bank of Spain explains that the increase in Social Security debt in the last year is due to the loans granted by the State to the organization's General Treasury to finance its budget imbalance.

Finally, city councils recorded a debt of 23,098 million euros in February, 0.5% less than the previous month, while in the last year it has risen 0.7%.