General government debt statistics for March 2023

Published: 30/6/2023

According to the final data of government finance statistics for the first quarter of 2023, the total consolidated debt of all general government sub-sectors[1] reached EUR 48.1bn at the end of March 2023, up by EUR 2.1bn (or 4.5%) from the end of December 2022 and up by EUR 2.7bn (or 5.9%) from the end of March 2022, of which the largest part of the debt increase in the period of one year occurred in the first quarter of 2023. The annual increase in debt was due to a combination of a decrease in the external debt of EUR 1.2bn (or 7.7%) and an increase in the domestic debt of EUR 3.9bn (or 13.0%). Domestic debt rose by EUR 2.5bn (or 7.9%), and external debt fell by EUR 0.4bn (or 2.7%) compared to the end of the previous quarter. At the end of March 2023, 69.8% of the general government debt related to domestic debt, while the remaining 30.2% of debt related to external debt. The share of domestic debt in the total debt of the general government increased by 4.4 percentage points on an annual basis.

Measured against the annual GDP[2], after the reduction of the share of debt in GDP for seven quarters in a row, there was a slight increase in the first quarter of 2023, which occurred due to a relatively larger increase in debt compared to the relative growth in nominal GDP. The total debt at the end of March 2023 amounted to 69.5% of GDP, which is a decrease of 6.4 percentage points on an annual basis from 75.9% of GDP at the end of March 2022 and an increase of 0.7 percentage points from the end of the previous quarter, when this share stood at 68.8%.

The general government debt structure by main debt instruments and maturity is available only on an unconsolidated basis[3]. Long-term debt instruments dominate the maturity structure of unconsolidated debt: at the end of March 2023 most of this debt was made up of bonds (65.8%), the second by importance were long-term loans (30.2%), and last were short-term loans, securities and deposits (jointly 4.0%). The short-term debt components decrease by EUR 0.8bn (or 29.2%) on an annual basis from the end of March 2022 to the end of March 2023, while the long-term debt components increase by EUR 3.4bn (or 7.8%) during the same period. The data indicate a growth trend of long-term debt, both loans and even more securities, with a simultaneous stagnation of short-term debt.

Statistical time series: Table I3 General government debt (ESA 2010)


  1. This debt excludes the cross claims of institutions within the same sub-sector and between sectors, the so-called Maastricht debt.

  2. Calculated as the sum of the preceding four quarterly GDP figures.

  3. The unconsolidated debt represents the Maastricht debt increased by cross claims of different units within the general government sector.