General Government (GG) consolidated debt (using the categories of debt set out under the Excessive Deficit Procedure1) continued to decline during 2016. By end-year it stood at €221.0bn which is equivalent to 80.2% of total economy GDP. Figure 5.1 shows GG Debt (at market value), and its ratio to GDP, over the years 2006 to 2016. It can be seen from this graph that Ireland’s debt level grew steadily in the period 2007-2013 but fell cumulatively by €7.9bn from its 2013 peak in the following three years.
|Government Debt (EDP) (left axis)||GDP (left axis)||Government Debt/GDP (right axis)||MIP Threshold (right axis)|
In contrast, Figure 5.2, which complements Figure 5.1, shows the evolution of General Government debt by financial instrument composition over the same period.
|AF.2 Deposits||AF.3 Securities||AF.4 Loans|
The official measure of Gross General Government Debt (GG Debt or “Maastricht Debt”) used for EDP purposes is reported at face value resulting in a ratio of 72.8% of GDP for end-20162, an improvement over its end-2015 value of 76.9% of GDP. In the current publication all liabilities are measured at market value and substituting this market valuation for the face value used in the calculation of GG Debt gives rise to the lower value of 72.8% of GDP, over the 80.2% indicated above. The improvement in the debt to GDP ratio during 2016 is due largely to an increase in GDP for the year, coupled with a relatively smaller decrease in GG Debt of €2.1bn.
|AF.2 Deposits||AF.3 Debt Securities||AF.4 Loans|
Gross disposable income (B.6g) continued to grow in 2016, rising in the year by €2.7bn to stand at €37.3bn at end-2016. This represented a rise of 7.9% over the year. Gross saving (B.8g) of general government increased by €1.0bn in 2016 contributing to a reduction in the deficit3 (B.9) which stood at €1.9bn for the year. Government net borrowing has fallen steadily from its 2010 peak of €53.7bn and has declined by €51.8bn during the ensuing period.
|B.8g Gross Saving||B.9 Net Lending (+) / Net Borrowing (-)|
1Defined under EU regulations governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure as the sum of gross liabilities of the consolidated General Government sector (S.13) in the categories AF.2 (Currency & Deposits), AF.3 (Debt Securities) and AF.4 (Loans) at market value.
2Further details on GGDebt and its components at nominal value can be seen in the CSO release Government Finance Statistics – Annual, October 2017.
3Technically this is known as the Net Lending/Net Borrowing (B.9).