German general government debt down in 2015 by €24 billion to €2.15 trillion - debt ratio down to 71.2%

According to provisional calculations, general government debt in Germany as defined in the Maastricht Treaty amounted to roughly €2.153 trillion at the end of 2015. The debt level was thus down by €24 billion on the year. The debt ratio, meaning the ratio of debt to nominal gross domestic product (GDP), fell by 3.5 percentage points to 71.2%. Nominal GDP growth contributed 2.7 percentage points to this decrease.

The government-owned "bad banks", which continued to realise assets and to pay down debt, made up a particularly high percentage of deleveraging. These "bad banks" were set up in the financial market crisis in order to prop up domestic credit institutions. At end-2015, too, these support measures accounted for €225 billion of general government debt (or 7.4% of current GDP). Following a slight decline, assistance measures for euro-area countries still accounted for €88 billion (or 2.9% of current GDP).

In its core budget (including its special funds), central government generated a perceptible surplus, which reduced the debt further. The core budgets of regional and local governments and the social security funds likewise ran surpluses. However, on balance, they did not go towards deleveraging but instead served to grow government financial assets. On the whole, regional government debt increased slightly, while the debt levels of local government and the social security funds stabilised.

Under the European budgetary surveillance procedure, the European Union's member states are required 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 deficit as defined by the Maastricht Treaty, while the Bundesbank calculates the Maastricht debt level.

Debt level (€ billion)1,7822,0902,1172,1932,1782,1782,153
% of GDP72.481.078.379.677.274.771.2