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[FRANKFURT] Germany's total debt increased slightly in 2014, but because the economy grew, its proportion of overall output fell, the country's central bank or Bundesbank said Wednesday.
"According to provisional calculations, general government debt in Germany amounted to approximately 2.168 trillion euros (S$3.23 trillion) at the end of 2014. The debt level thus increased by 2.0 billion on the year," the Bundesbank said in a statement.
But because gross domestic product also expanded, "the debt ratio, ie, the level of debt in relation to GDP, decreased by 2.4 percentage points to 74.7 per cent," the Bundesbank said.
Under EU rules, member states are not allowed to run up overall debt in excess of 60 per cent of GDP.
The Bundesbank said that since 2010, general government debt in Germany had been growing steadily by a total of 91 billion euros, which is equivalent to 3.1 per cent of current GDP, as a result of measures relating to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
"The cumulative effect of the support measures in favour of domestic financial institutions since 2008 amounted to 236 billion euros or 8.1 per cent of GDP," the statement said.
Such effects decreased in the past two years, however, it said.
Under the European budgetary surveillance procedure, EU member states are obliged to submit data on their general government deficit and debt levels to the European Commission twice a year, at the end of March and end of September.
For this purpose, the federal statistical office calculates the public deficit, while the Bundesbank calculates the overall debt level.