Croatia’s public debt reaches 85.5% of GDP, foreign debt 107.7% of GDP


Croatia’s public debt reached HRK 285.3 billion at the end of November 2015, representing 85.5% of the estimated GDP for 2015, while gross foreign debt totalled EUR 47.2 billion or 107.7% of GDP, the latest figures provided by the Croatian National Bank (HNB) show.

General government debt increased by HRK 1.5 billion or 0.5% in November 2015 from October 2015, while compared with November 2014 it rose by HRK 8.4 billion or 3%.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) says that the annual public debt growth rate of about 3% was recorded for the second month in a row, adding that this slightly more moderate rate was the result of a lower budget deficit than in the previous year and the fact that the possibility of creating new obligations was limited during the election period.

Data for the eleven months of 2015 shows that public debt during that period increased by HRK 5.7 billion in total, of which HRK 5.1 billion was incurred through borrowing on the domestic market and HRK 600 million on the foreign markets.

Central government debt increased by HRK 6.3 billion as a result of the need to finance a high budget deficit, while at the same time social security funds reduced their debt by HRK 1.5 million and local government debt was reduced by HRK 493.4 million.

“We expect public debt to reach approximately 86% of GDP at the end of 2015, which is slightly lower than initially expected because of higher economic growth and partial financing of the general government deficit with deposit funds,” the HGK said. “Nevertheless, the level of public debt remains too high, with a limiting impact on economic growth, while at the same time the untenably high dynamic of its growth continues,” it added.

Gross foreign debt in November 2015, compared with October 2015, decreased by EUR 109.8 million to EUR 47.2 billion or 107.7% of GDP as all sectors reduced their debt except general government, whose debt increased by EUR 275.6 million.

Compared with November 2014, foreign debt went up by EUR 729 million or 1.6%, mostly under the prevailing influence of the 4.9% increase in general government debt, although other domestic sectors also recorded a debt increase, of 0.5%, as well as the central bank.

In the eleven months of 2015, gross foreign debt rose by 548.3 million, with central bank debt increasing the most, by EUR 1.5 billion, as a result of investing international reserves in repurchase agreements. General government debt increased by EUR 707.2 million and other domestic sectors saw their debt rise by a total of EUR 330.8 million. Decreases were recorded by other monetary financial institutions and direct investments, of EUR 1.2 billion and EUR 739.9 million respectively.

(Hina) vm