June 18, 2020 / 9:23 AM / 19 days ago

Spanish public debt rises to record high in April, Bank of Spain says

MADRID, June 18 (Reuters) - Spanish public debt rose in April to a record high, surpassing the previous high reached in March, increased mainly by government measures to soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Bank of Spain data showed on Thursday.

Total debt rose by 10.5 billion euros in April to 1.235 trillion euros ($1.39 trillion), pushing the ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 99.77% from 98.92% in March, according to Reuters calculations, based on data released by the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE).

The Bank of Spain did not publish the debt-to-GDP ratio for April.

Spain is heading for its worst recession on record, and the country is taking on more debt to offset the consequences of the COVID-19 fallout.

In April, Spain issued its biggest-ever syndicated 10-year bond worth 15 billion euros as part of a plan to raise net borrowing on financial markets to 130 billion euros ($146.02 billion) in 2020 to pay for coronavirus-linked spending.

When Spain presented its updated stability programme to the European authorities in May , it forecast a 9.2% economic contraction in 2020.

The government also said then it expected the debt-to-GDP ratio to rise to 115.5% at the end of 2020.

$1 = 0.9121 euros Reporting By Jesús Aguado; editing by Inti Landauro, Larry King

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