Typo Adds More Than $13B to Country’s Debt

by Christopher Freeburn | October 4, 2013 12:49 pm

debt boulder 630 300x225 Typo Adds More Than $13B to Countrys Debt[1]It was an embarrassing confession for Spain’s economic ministry[2].

Just days after it released an estimate of size of its national debt, the Spanish government retracted the figure, calling it an error. The government first said that its debt would be 99.8% of the nation’s GDP in 2014. The real figure was $1.53 trillion, or 98.9% of all economic output, AFP notes.

The variance between the two figures translates into $14.5 billion. Spain, the eurozone’s fourth largest economy, has struggled with a weak economy and rising debt for several years.

Behind the retraction was a simple mistake: someone transposed the numbers when typing the release.

While the typo might have falsely boosted the country’s debt, the real numbers aren’t very comforting. In 2011, Spain’s debt was 68.5% of GDP. That is expected to jump to 94.2% this year.

By contrast, the U.S. has amassed almost $16.8 trillion in public debt, while its lawmakers squabble over legislation to raise the amount the government is allowed to borrow[3].

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Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/debt-boulder-630.jpg
  2. embarrassing confession for Spain’s economic ministry: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-04/typo-adds-24145-billion-to-spanish-debt/4998082
  3. to raise the amount the government is allowed to borrow: http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/debt-ceiling-credit-default-swaps/

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