ANKARA

The government-debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU rose to 87.8% at the end of the second quarter of 2020, the EU statistical body said on Thursday.

Amid continued spending to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ratio climbed from 79.4% in the previous quarter and 79.7% in the second quarter of 2019, according to Eurostat.

The figure in the eurozone – the 19 of the 27 EU members who use the euro – hit 95.1% in the second quarter of 2020, up from 86.3% in the previous quarter and 86.2% in the same quarter last year.

Countries with the highest general government-debt-to-GDP ratio in the bloc are Greece, Italy, and Portugal with 187.4%, 149.4% and 126.1%, respectively. They were followed by Belgium with 115.3% and France with 114.1%.

Compared with the first quarter of 2020, all EU countries saw an increase in their debt-to-GDP-ratio at the end of the second quarter.

The report also said the increases can be attributed to sharp rises in government debt combined with falls in GDP.

Eurostat data also showed the seasonally adjusted general government deficit-to-GDP ratio at 11.6% in the 19-member eurozone and 11.4% in the EU27, including all the EU members.

According to Thursday’s data, debt securities accounted for 81.6% of eurozone and for 81.4% of EU general government debt at the end of the second quarter.

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