General government (GG) consolidated debt (using the categories of debt set out under the Excessive Deficit Procedure1) continued to decline during 2017. By year-end it stood at €218.3bn which is equivalent to 74.2% of total economy GDP. Figure 5.1 shows GG debt (at market value), and its ratio to GDP, over the years 2007 to 2017. It can be seen from this graph that Ireland’s debt level grew steadily in the period 2007-2013 but fell cumulatively by €10.6bn from its 2013 peak in the subsequent 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 68.4% of GDP for end-2017,2 an improvement over its end-2016 value of 73.4% 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 68.4% of GDP, over the 74.2% indicated above. The improvement in the debt to GDP ratio during 2017 is due largely to an increase in GDP for the year, coupled with a relatively smaller decrease in GG debt of €2.8bn.
|AF.2 Deposits||AF.3 Debt Securities||AF.4 Loans|
Gross disposable income (B.6g) continued to grow in 2017, rising in the year by €3.5bn to stand at €40.9bn at end-2017. This represented a rise of 9.4% over the year. Gross saving (B.8g) of general government increased by €1.4bn in 2017 contributing to a reduction in the deficit3 (B.9) which stood at €0.8bn for the year. Government net borrowing has fallen steadily from its 2010 peak of €53.7bn and has declined by €52.9bn 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 GG debt and its components at nominal value can be seen in the CSO release Government Finance Statistics – Annual, October 2018.
3Technically this is known as the net lending/net borrowing (B.9).