Consolidated debt in the Euro Area fell to the lowest level in four years, according to 3Q2016 figures released today.
The overall average for the monetary union fell to 90.1% of GDP in the third quarter, with continued wide dispersion among its members. Greece remains closer to 180% of GDP– nearly three times the ECB’s mandated 60% limit. Denmark and Sweden (both with debt to GDP at ~40%) are the only two countries to have consistently maintained debt within the prescribed parameters.
Ireland, for the 11th quarter in a row, was the largest contributor to the decline, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Debt levels rose in Greece and Portugal in the third quarter.
Looking back over the last decade, we see that overall Euro Area debt levels (yellow triangles in the chart below) haven’t fallen this consistently– about 1%yoy each quarter from 2Q2015 until now– since 2007/2008.