German public debt reaches record level amid pandemic

29 Sep 20

The economic and health crises caused by Covid-19 led Germany’s overall public debt to its highest ever level in the first half of 2020, the country’s official statistics bureau Destatis has confirmed.


In total, the federal government, local governments and social security funds owed the non-public sector €2.109trn at the end of June.

Destatis said this was the highest debt ever recorded, with the previous record set in December 2012 when debt reached €2.068trn.

Compared with the end of 2019, debt rose by 11.1%, or €210.1bn.

“The increase is mainly due to the fact that the public budgets borrowed funds for the purpose of financing measures to overcome the coronavirus crisis,” Destatis said.

Last week the German cabinet approved a draft of the 2021 budget that would see the state take on €96.2bn of additional debt to continue to finance its response to the pandemic.

That budget will be discussed further by parliament in the coming days.

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