A public debt of less than 100% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now only a distant memory.
Weighed down by emergency aid for companies closed due to the epidemic in 2020, then the 100 billion from the recovery plan and today the tariff shield and other bonuses aimed at offsetting the rise in prices and energy costs , French public debt has largely exceeded GDP for the past two years.
18 points in one year
In one year, between 2020 and 2021, it has thus climbed by 18 points, from 99% to 117% of GDP. A very significant increase, but limited compared to most countries in the euro zone, especially in Italy where the debt is close to 150% of GDP.
In France, the public debt currently stands at 2,916.8 billion euros. It therefore decreased to 113% of GDP, instead of 114% previously, thanks to the increase in Gross Domestic Product, boosted in particular by the recovery in economic activity and consumption, according to INSEE.
6 billion additional, against 88 previously
Independently of GDP, public debt shows a marked slowdown in its growth between the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022. It had in fact posted an increase of 88 billion between the first three months of the year and the last quarter of 2021, while ‘it only increased by 6 billion between the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022.
INSEE explains this relative lull in the increase in debt, not by a reduction in public spending, but by a line of cash from public administrations. “Unlike the previous quarter, public administrations drew on their cash (–€48.0 billion, after +€51.1 billion) to meet their financing needs”, notes the National Institute of Statistics and Studies. economic.
Plus 52 billion of net public debt
So that the net debt of the State continues, in reality, its dizzying increase. Between the first three months of the year and the following three, it thus increased by 52 billion euros, against 38 billion previously.
The debt of the Secu decreases
Social security administrations (Asso) reduced their contribution to public debt in the second quarter of 2022 (–€9.3 billion). In particular, Urssaf Caisse Nationale (formerly Acoss) and Unédic reimburse debt securities (respectively –€14.6 billion and –€0.7 billion).
The contribution of various central government bodies (Odac) to public debt decreased by €3.5 billion, due to the debt reduction of SNCF Réseau, France Compétence and Bpifrance Participations (respectively –€2.8 billion, –0.4 billion and –€0.3 billion).
Still, the other indicator of the health of French public finances also continues to rise. Outstanding long-term debt (i.e. what France owes to its creditors, independently of interest) shows an increase of 18 billion euros between March and June 2022. A significant increase partly due to “the indexation of part of the securities to French or European inflation,” comments INSEE.
Clearly, public spending continues to increase, interest rates too…