Public and private debt: France is widening the gap

Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy. Blondet Eliot/Blondet Eliot/ABACA

While all euro zone states have reduced their debt-to-GDP ratio in 2022, the French effort appears much lighter.

France continues to dig its singularity on the debt section. In 2022, Paris stood out for the fact that both national public administrations and private players reduced their debt much less than the euro zone average, according to a document published on Monday by the Banque de France. A worrying finding at a time of rising interest rate.

The study thus shows that all the States have reduced their debt to GDP ratio, due to the dynamism of growth last year and therefore the rise in nominal GDP in the denominator; but the French effort appears much lighter. Thus, on average in the euro zone, the general government debt ratio fell by 3.9 points to stand at 91.6% of GDP at the end of 2022.

With a debt to GDP of 115%, Paris is one of the worst European students, alongside Spain (120%) and Italy (155%). But, while these two states reduced their debt to GDP by 5.1 and 5.5 points respectively last year, France contented itself with a very slight slimming cure, with the smallest decrease in the euro zone by 1.3 points.

The debt ratio of French non-financial companies is 154%

On the private side, the corporate debt ratio in the euro zone stood at 117% of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2022, down 5.1 points compared to 2021. In Spain, the decline even reached 12 points. On the other hand, it is limited in France to 1.4 points, bringing the debt ratio of French non-financial companies to 154%, against 109% for Germany, or 134% for Spain.

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