BRUSSELS – Eurozone public debt rose to 93.9 percent of economic output in the first quarter of this year, approaching the peak it is expected to reach later in 2014, official data showed on Tuesday.
Government debt of the 18 countries sharing the euro stood at 9.055 trillion euros ($12.21 trillion) in the first three months of this year, compared to 8.905 trillion euros in the last quarter of 2013, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said.
The EU’s executive arm – the European Commission – expects the debt to peak at 96.0 percent of gross domestic product this year and then ease to 95.4 percent of GDP in 2015.
Nearly 80 percent of the bloc’s debt is in bonds and treasury bills. Loans account for 17.9 percent of the debt.
Twice bailed-out Greece was the eurozone’s most indebted country with sovereign debt of 174.1 percent of GDP, followed by the bloc’s third-biggest economy Italy, with debt equivalent to 135.6 percent of GDP in the first quarter.
Only two countries – Germany and Luxembourg – saw their debt fall compared with the last quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2013. [Reuters]