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Statistical Press Release - Public debt statistics – revised methodology

Today, Banco de Portugal publishes, in Table A.15 of the Statistical Bulletin and in BPstat, the revised statistics on public debt.

This revision follows the new edition of the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt1 published by Eurostat on 2 August 2019. This updated version provides, among other, changes to the methodology for recording the capitalised interest on saving certificates in public debt, which was under discussion since 2015 within the permanent forum of the European Statistical System devoted to methodological matters that are relevant to the compilation of deficit and debt statistics. This subject has also been mentioned in the press releases published by Statistics Portugal on excessive deficit procedure notifications, and the amount of capitalised interest is reported in Table 4 of these notifications2.

Therefore this revision solely reflects the addition of the amounts associated with capitalised interest on saving certificates to public debt. Chart 1 and Table 1 summarise the revision of the public debt series.

This revision had an impact on total public debt, but not on the change in debt recorded between the end of May and the end of June 2019, disclosed in the statistical press release published on 1 August 2019 by Banco de Portugal.

In June 2019, public debt stood at €251.2 billion (Chart 2), a €5.6 billion decline from the end of May, mainly driven by a decrease in debt securities (Chart 3).

General government deposits declined by €5.7 billion, with public debt net of deposits increasing by €0.1 billion from the previous month, to a total of €233.7 billion.

Next updated: 2 Sep. 2019


1 The Manual on Government Deficit and Debt, published by Eurostat, sets forth the methodological guidelines for the harmonised compilation of statistics on deficit and debt among the various Member States. 

2 See the press release published by Statistics Portugal on the first excessive deficit procedure notification for 2019.