Croatia’s public debt climbed to 89.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of last year, versus 72.8% a year before, the central bank said on Wednesday.
“According to the preliminary data, the debt amounted to 329.7 billion kuna ($51.16 billion) or 36.8 billion kuna more than at the end of 2019,” the central bank said.
The state statistics bureau is expected to release final data on the general budget deficit and public debt for 2020 on April 22.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said that increase in the public debt last year was almost exclusively due to borrowing needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economy contracted 8.4% last year.
This year the government expects to slightly reduce the public debt to 85.0% of GDP as part of its drive for the adoption of the euro in the next two to three years.
($1 = 6.4443 kuna)
Main Photo: EPA/PATRICK SEEGER