Written answers

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

9:00 pm

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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Question 122: To ask the Minister for Finance the total household debt as a percentage of GNP; the total corporate debt as a percentage of GNP; the total Government general debt as a percentage of GNP; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23793/11]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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The Central Bank's Quarterly Financial Accounts data show that households had outstanding loans amounting to €184.9 billion in the first quarter of the year, representing 147 per cent of forecast GNP for 2011. The stock of household loans has declined by €18 billion or 9 per cent since peaking in the final quarter of 2008. The same data source reveals that non financial corporations had outstanding loans of €264 billion in the first quarter of the year, or 210 per cent of forecast GNP. The stock of such loans has contracted by €62.5 billion or 19 per cent since peaking in the final months of 2009.

Of course the data also show that households and non financial corporations have significant assets as well as liabilities. In the case of households, for example, net financial wealth – the difference between assets and liabilities – was a positive €105 billion (this figure does not include housing assets). This figure has increased by 80 per cent since the first quarter of 2009.

Finally, my Department has forecast General government debt of €173 billion in 2011, which would represent 111 per cent of forecast GDP (137 per cent of GNP). This is up from debt of €148.1 billion in 2010. General government debt as a percentage of GDP is forecast to peak at 118 per cent in 2013 before moderating in the following years.

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