Spanish 2023 debt ratio comes in just below government target

AFP - [email protected]
Spanish 2023 debt ratio comes in just below government target
Spanish 2023 debt ratio comes in just below govt target. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Spain's public debt-to-GDP ratio fell in 2023 to just below the leftist government's target, the Bank of Spain said Friday, as stronger than expected economic growth boosted tax collection.


The debt ratio stood at 107.7 percent economic output at the end of 2023, down 5.5 percentage points from the same year-ago period, it said in a statement.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's coalition government, which has ramped up social spending to help households deal with high inflation, had targeted a ratio of 108.1 percent.

"They made us believe that we could only reduce the debt and public deficit with austerity and cuts in benefits... We have proven that it is not true. This is the way!," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, after the figure was released.

Spain's public debt-to-GDP ratio, one of the highest in Europe, hit 125.7 percent in 2020 due to increased government spending to prop up the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The government had pledged to bring the ratio down to 106.3 percent at the end of 2024.

Spain's economy, the eurozone's fourth largest, expanded by 2.5 percent in 2023, slightly above the government's forecast of 2.4 percent growth, as the country welcomed a record number of foreign visitors, over 84 million.


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