General government debt statistics for December 2023

Published: 22/4/2024

According to the final[1] data of government finance statistics for the fourth quarter of 2023, the total consolidated debt of all general government sub-sectors[2] reached EUR 48.2bn at the end of December 2023, up by EUR 0.3bn (or 0.6%) from the end of September 2023 and up by EUR 1.8bn (or 4.0%) from the end of December 2022. The annual increase in debt was due to a combination of a decrease in the external debt of EUR 0.7bn (or 4.7%) and an increase in the domestic debt of EUR 2.5bn (or 8.1%). Domestic debt rose by EUR 0.4bn (or 1.2%), and external debt fell by EUR 0.1bn (or 0.7%) compared to the end of the previous quarter.

Figure 1 Consolidated general government debt during the last 12 months

Measured against the annual GDP[3], the total debt at the end of December 2023 amounted to 63.0% of GDP, which is a decrease of 4.8 percentage points on an annual basis from 67.8% of GDP at the end of December 2022 and a decrease of 0.9 percentage points from the end of the previous quarter, when this share stood at 63.9%.

Figure 2 Consolidated general government debt over a longer period

The general government debt structure by main debt instruments and maturity is available only on an unconsolidated basis[4]. Long-term debt instruments dominate the maturity structure of unconsolidated debt: at the end of December 2023 most of this debt was made up of bonds (66.0%), the second by importance were long-term loans (29.3%), and last were short-term loans, securities and deposits (jointly 4.7%). The short-term debt components increase by EUR 0.3bn (or 12.8%) on an annual basis from the end of December 2022 to the end of December 2023, while the long-term debt components increase by EUR 1.5bn (or 3.4%) during the same period.

Figure 3 Unconsolidated general government debt by main instruments and maturity


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


  1. Data are confirmed by EUROSTAT within EDP notification process.

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

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

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