25 Apr 2015

European Public Sector debt in 2014 - Over €12 trillion

The Eurostat website has just updated all the figures for European Government debt for 2014. The gory details can be downloaded from their website. But be warned, it's not trivial to find the numbers.  So hopefully you will be happy to know that I have done the work for you. 

I've been providing these numbers every year since I started my blog back in 2010 - and you can have a look at my previous posts that provided the numbers for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

But this year, I have decided to just give you the data in a relatively raw form so that you can look at the complete Eurostat figures for all European Union countries. By clicking on the image below you can download a large table that gives all the public sector debt figures since 1995 - the first year for which Eurostat provides the numbers.  The top part of the table provides debt levels for all countries and groups of countries in Millions of Euros, whereas the bottom part provides the numbers for European Countries like the UK  that use their own currencies.

The key facts are as follows.

First, overall Government Consolidated Gross Debt for the 28 European Union countries is up 4.6% on 2013 and now exceed €12 trillion. The increase for the 18 Eurozone countries was a bit smaller - just 2.9% - bringing the total to around €9.3 trillion.

Four European countries now have over €2 trillion of public sector debt.

Top of the list is Germany whose debt has now reach €2.17 trillion. So despite Germany's tendency to lecture everyone else about public sector debt, they are actually the worst culprits.

Next comes Italy with €2.13 trillion, followed by the UK with €2.05 trillion (over £1.6 trillion), and then France with €2.04 trillion.

The figures for the UK are particular impressive. Despite Osborne and Cameron claims to have managed the economy intelligently by imposing massive cuts in public spending and "balancing the books", public sector has actually increased 14.6% over the figures for 2013 (€1.79 trillion,  or £1.6 trillion). Indeed, the Conservative LibDem coaltion has managed to increase public sector debt by an incredible 64 % since taking power in 2010 because  the figure for 2009 was a mere £975 billion. That's an increase of £625 billion in just 5 years. Any claim that they make concerning the intelligence of their economic policies is, in my humble opinion, completely refuted by these catastrophic results.

To further demonstrate just how useless George Osborne is, I've compiled the following table that shows the numbers for Government Gross Debt in  2013 and 2014 together with the percentage changes. So, yes, Bulgaria and Slovenia both did worse that Osborne and co - racking up increases of 54% and 18.5% respectively, but Osborne's 14.6% in one year is nevertheless very impressive.
Full marks to Greece, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland and Norway who all succeeded in actually reducing Public Sector Debt between 2013 and 2014.

What did I hear? The IMF and ECB are refusing to allow Greece any leeway? Greece is being pressurized to follow the excellent example provided by the UK?? It's very unfair.

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