The highest ratios of government debt to GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2022 were recorded in Greece (178.2 %), Italy (147.3 %), Portugal (120.1 %), Spain (115.6 %), France (113.4 %) and Belgium (106.3 %) and the lowest in Estonia (15.8 %), Bulgaria (23.1 %) and Luxembourg (24.6 %).
Latvia was among the countries with relatively low debt, its government debt to GDP ratio coming in at 39.9 % in the third quarter. The figure is down on the 41.6 % of the previous quarter and 42.3 % recorded in the third quarter of 2021.
Compared with the second quarter of 2022, four EU Member States registered an increase in their debt to GDP ratio at the end of the third quarter of 2022 and 23 a decrease. Increases in the ratio were observed in Bulgaria (+1.9 percentage points), Czechia (+1.7 pp), France (+0.3 pp) and Sweden (+0.2 pp), while the largest decreases were recorded in Greece (-5.3 pp), Cyprus (-3.8 pp), Portugal (-3.3 pp), Italy (-3.0 pp) and Croatia (-2.8 pp).
For both the euro area (EA19) and the EU, the decrease in government debt to GDP ratio is due to an increase in GDP outweighing the increase in government debt in absolute terms. Compared with the third quarter of 2021, the government debt to GDP ratio also decreased in both the euro area (from 97.3 % to 93.0 %) and the EU (from 89.7 % to 85.1 %).
At the end of the third quarter of 2022, debt securities accounted for 82.5 % of euro area and for 81.9 % of EU general government debt. Loans made up 14.4 % and 15.0 % respectively and currency and deposits represented 3.1 % of both euro area and EU government debt.