Public debt marks a record 1.22 trillion before worst of coronavirus crisis

In the first quarter of 2020, the debt of all public administrations rose to the all-time high of 1,224,161 million euros, reaching 98.9% of GDP. 2.96% shot up in absolute terms compared to December 2019, 35,294 million euros more, as a consequence of the covid-19 crisis. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, it grew 2.3%, with 27,494 million more, according to data published this Tuesday by the Bank of Spain.

In this way, the public debt marked its all-time high in the first quarter, affected since mid-March by mobility restriction measures derived from the state of alarm decreed by the Covid-19 health crisis, rising 3% in quarterly terms and 2.3% year-on-year.

In consecuense, the public debt to GDP ratio climbed to 98.9%, which is 3.3 percentage points compared to the closing ratio of 2019, when it managed to lower and meet the target of 95.5% of GDP), and represents the highest level since the third quarter of 2018.

For this year the Government predicts a public debt ratio of 115.5% of GDP as a result of GDP, and the treasure recently revised its financing program, raising its emission forecasts by 100,000 million in response to the greatest needs.

The debt of local corporations

By administrations, public debt increased in all between the months of January and March of this year, except for local corporations. Thus, the State debt rose in the first quarter to 1,094,947 million euros, 3.1% more than in the previous quarter and 2.7% more year-on-year, representing 88.5% of GDP, with a rise of 3.3 percentage points, marking its highest ratio in history.

For its part, the debt of autonomous communities It grew by 0.9% quarter-on-quarter and 0.6% year-on-year, reaching 297,866 million euros in the first quarter, equivalent to 24.1% of GDP, four tenths more than in 2019.

On the contrary, local corporations They reduced their debt by 1.5% in the first quarter, to 28,878 million euros, 11.9% less year-on-year, which represents 1.8% of GDP, a ratio one tenth lower than in 2019.

Finally, the debt of the Social Security administrations it remained at 55,025 million euros, which is why it set its historical record by growing one million, adding 11,957 million euros more in a year, with an increase of 27.8%. The ratio to GDP it is 4.4%.

This increase is due to loans granted by the State to the General Treasury of Social Security monthly
March to November 2019 to finance a significant part of its budget imbalance. Sayings loans, since it is
Financial operations between subsectors do not affect the total debt of the public administration sector, explains the Bank of Spain.

The most indebted communities

Within the autonomous communities, debt rose in absolute terms in all regions compared to the previous quarter except in Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Navarra, the Basque Country and the Valencian Community.

Specifically, Catalonia (79,429 million euros), Valencian Community (48,158 million), Andalusia (35,244 million) and Madrid (34,052 million) continue to concentrate two thirds of all the debt in the hands of the autonomous governments, although it is also due to a population issue.

Following are the communities of Castilla-La Mancha (15,395 million), Castilla y León (12,780 million), Galicia (11,687 million), Murcia (9,965 million), Balearic Islands (9,004 million) and the Basque Country (8,976 million).

The table is closed by Aragón (8,835 million), Canarias (6,489 million), Extremadura (4,904 million), Asturias (4,788 million), Navarra (3,011 million), Cantabria (3,439 million) and La Rioja (1,708 million).

However, as a percentage of GDP, the Valencian Community, with an indebtedness of 42.2%, continues to lead the most indebted regions in relation to their wealth, followed by Castilla-La Mancha, with 36.2%, and Catalonia, with 33.7%.

They are followed by Murcia (30.8%), Balearic Islands (26.9%), Cantabria (24.2%), Extremadura (23.8%), Aragon (23.2%), Castilla y León (21.4% ), Andalusia (21.3%), La Rioja (19.5%), Asturias (19.9%), Galicia (18.1%) and Navarra (14.4%).

On their side, the Community of Madrid (14.3%), the Basque Country (12.1%) and the Canary Islands (13.8%) are the ones that have the least debt with respect to the GDP.

Madrid and Barcelona reduce their debt

By size of town halls, those with more than 500,000 inhabitants accumulated a debt of 4,377 million euros until March, 364 million less than the previous quarter, while those with more than 300,000 and less than 500,000 placed it at 740 million, 21 million less, while That of the rest of the capital dropped to 2,478 million, 39 million less.

Among those with more than 300,000 inhabitants, Madrid, with a debt of 2,005 million euros (-10.2% quarter-on-quarter), continues to lead the most indebted local corporations, followed by Zaragoza, with 703 million (one million less ) and Barcelona, ​​with 731 million (-6.5%). However, all three have reduced their indebtedness with respect to the previous quarter and with respect to the previous year.

They were followed by Valencia (357 million), Malaga (340 million), Murcia (298 million) and Seville (241 million), which in all cases have also reduced it.