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The latest figures from the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat show a reverse in the recent trend of decreasing government debt. On a year-on-year basis debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, the size of the economy, has reached 88% compared to 86.2% a year ago. Worst offenders were the familiar names of Greece (174.1%), Italy (135.6%) and Portugal (132.9%); fellow bail-out recipient Ireland was on 122.2%. Top of the class were Estonia (10%), Bulgaria (20.3%) and Luxembourg (22.2%). Over the past year government debt has risen by nearly 25 percentage points (pp) in Cyprus and Slovenia and decreased in Poland and Germany by 7.6 and 1.1 pp respectively. The UK recorded a 2.5 pp rise.
Ireland (122.2%) and the Netherlands (68.1%) were not included in the Eurostat graph
No sign of post-slump industrial recovery
Industrial production in Europe is flatlining and is still far below its level before the economic slump. Eurostat statistics from June show an increase of 0.7% over the whole EU compared with 12 months previously but in the euro area there has been no change. Compared with May both figures show a fall of 1.1%. Individual Member States have done much better: Hungary showed an annual 11.3% increase with Romania (9.9%) and Slovakia (7.5%) not far behind. But Greece (-6.9%), Malta (-3.8%) and Latvia (-2.0%) recorded large decreases.