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Financial Accounts

Financial Accounts

General government gross debt (GG Debt) stood at €236.1 billion at the end of 2021 (55.4% of GDP)

Online ISSN: 2009-616x
CSO statistical publication, , 11am
COVID-19 Release Information

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis. The results contained in this release reflect some of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information see Background Notes.

Financing the deficit - general government debt 55.4% of GDP at end 2021

General government gross debt (the level of government borrowing) rose by over €18 billion to €236.1 billion (Table 3.1). Since 2019 the level of debt has increased by €32.7 billion. In contrast with the increase in the nominal value, the debt to GDP ratio has decreased from 58.4% at the end of 2020 to 55.4% at the end of last year, thus remaining below the Stability and Growth Pact threshold of 60%. This is due to the continued strong performance of GDP in the year.

General government net debt rose by €6.8 billion to €192.3 billion (45.1% of GDP) at the end of 2021. Net debt takes account of the assets corresponding to Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) debt instruments, i.e. currency and deposits, securities other than shares, and loans (Tables 3.1 and 3.4).

The market value of total liabilities rose by €11.4bn during 2021 over its end-2020 value of €267.5 billion to stand at €278.9 billion. The most significant increases occurred in the instrument classes F.3 - Debt Securities (€5.8 billion) and F.4 – Loans (€2.4 billion) (Table 3.3). The net increase in loan liabilities was largely as a result of the State drawing down €2.5 billion in finance under the SURE facility during Q1 2021. The SURE scheme is an EU initiative designed to offer support to EU member states in their efforts to offset the negative social and economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

Movements of note in the balance sheet

At the end of 2021 the value of the State's assets in Equity and Investment Fund Shares (AF.5, Table 3.3) stood at €35.6 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of €1.6 billion since Q4 2020. This growth in value was driven by the combination of a reduction in holdings in this asset class of €1.0 billion (Table 3.2) and an increase in the value of these holdings of €2.6 billion.

On the other side of the balance sheet, the market value of the State's liabilities grew by €11.4 billion in 2021 to stand at €278.9 billion at year-end. This movement in valuation is explained by net transactions of €19.3 billion, dominated largely by the issuance of €13.7 billion in Government bonds, which were then offset by downward market valuations of €7.9 billion (Tables 3.2 and 3.3). Investment, largely by households, in small saving schemes continued in 2021 as the value of the State’s liabilities through these products stood at €25.0 billion at the end of the year.

Table 3.1 General Government Gross and Net Debt

Table 3.2 General Government Financial Transactions

Table 3.3 General Government: detailed breakdown of net worth

Table 3.4 General Government Net Worth, Gross and Net Debt

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