The debt of the public administrations as a whole closed the 2022 financial year at 1,502 trillion euros, which represents an increase of 75,305 million with respect to the previous year, although it reduced its weight on GDP to 113.2%, being below the target of the Government, according to the data published this Friday by the Bank of Spain.
In year-on-year terms (December 2022 compared to the same month in 2021), public debt increased by 5.3%, with more than 75,303 million additional euros, due to higher expenses and lower income derived from the coronavirus crisis and the response to the economic impact of the crisis in Ukraine and the rise in prices. Despite this increase, Spain managed to reduce the debt to GDP ratio by more than five points in just one year, from 118.3% in 2021 to 113.2% in 2022, given the favorable evolution of the economy, which grew 5.5% in 2022.
In quarter-on-quarter comparison, the debt registered a slight decrease in the final stretch of the year and fell from the record of 1,503 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2022 to 1,502 trillion with which the year closed. The debt ratio also fell from 115.6% in the third quarter to 113.2% at the end of the year.
The organization headed by Pablo Hernández de Cos has thus confirmed that the percentage of debt over GDP with which it closed last year is lower than the Government’s objective for the whole year (115.2%), in accordance with what is established by the Executive in the Budget Plan and approaching the fulfillment of the objective by the end of 2023.
Thus, from the maximum level reached during the pandemic, the debt-to-GDP ratio has fallen by more than 7 points. The Executive has ensured that it maintains its commitment to fiscal rigor, taking advantage of the growing economy and job creation. The scenario proposed by the 2022-2025 Stability Program shows a progressive decline in the deficit over the four years until the debt/GDP ratio stands at 109.7% in 2025.
Regarding the evolution of the debt of the different subsectors, the indebtedness of the Central Administration rose to 1,358 trillion euros in December 2022, after growing by 6.2% compared to the closing of a year earlier, and the ratio of its debt over GDP stood at 102.4%. For its part, the balance of debt of the Social Security administrations stood at 106,178 million euros, which represents an interannual growth of 9.3%, due to State loans to this body.
Local corporations, on their side, placed their debt at 23,019 million in December 2022, which represents 1.7% of GDP and is 4.3% more than the balance registered a year earlier. With regard to territorial administrations, the debt of the autonomous communities grew to 316,937 million euros at the end of 2022, 23.8% of GDP, with a year-on-year increase of 1.4%.
Catalonia (84,327 million euros), the Valencian Community (55,032 million), Andalusia (37,870 million) and the Community of Madrid (34,821 million) continue to concentrate two thirds of all debt in the hands of the autonomous governments at the end of 2022, although they also It is due to a question of population.
As a percentage of GDP, the Valencian Community, with a debt that represents 44.4%, continues to lead the most indebted regions in relation to its wealth, followed by Castilla-La Mancha, with 33.4%, Catalonia, also with 33.4%, and the Region of Murcia, with 32.2%.
By size of municipalities, those with more than 300,000 inhabitants accumulated a debt of 5,020 million euros until December 2022, 272 million more than at the end of 2021, when the figure reached 4,748 million. Specifically, Madrid, with a debt of 1,738 million euros, continues to lead the most indebted local corporations, followed by Barcelona, with 1,117 million, and Zaragoza, with 634 million. In the case of Madrid, its debt has increased in the last year by more than 58 million, while Barcelona has increased it by 299 million.