Despite a booming economy and record tax revenues, however, the state’s debt continued to rise over the year as a whole. After all – at the end of the year the number was slightly down. In the fourth quarter, public sector debt fell by 5.7 billion euros, or 0.3 percent, compared with the previous quarter. "The positive trend in the fourth quarter of 2011 can be attributed solely to the federal government," the statisticians explained. The latter reduced its debt to 31. December compared to 30. September by 0.8 percent, or 11.0 billion euros, to 1277.8 billion euros.
For the states and municipalities, on the other hand, the debt level increased. Countries were 613.4 billion euros in debt – up 0.7 percent, or 4.1 billion euros. Local government debt increased by 0.9 percent, or 1.1 billion euros, to 129.9 billion euros.
"Even though the debt level fell in the fourth quarter, it is still above the level of the first quarter," statisticians reported. At that time, the public budget had a debt of 1999.7 billion euros.
The results include the core and extra budgets of the federal government, the states and the municipalities, and include credit market debt and cash loans. The federal office stresses that the figures are "not fully comparable" with the final annual debt results – there, debt was surveyed with a different definition and in a more differentiated manner. Debts of special-purpose associations and social security are also not included.