UK faces highest debt interest bill among developed nations this year

UK faces highest debt interest bill among developed nations this year

Country stands out as significant outlier in global context, with approximately 25% of its government debt composed of index-linked bonds

By Aysu Bicer

LONDON (AA) - The UK is facing the highest debt interest costs among developed nations this year, primarily due to its significant proportion of inflation-linked debt, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday.

It forecasts that Britain will allocate 10.4% of its total government revenue to service its debts in 2023, amounting to a substantial £110 billion ($141.9 billion).

Interest payments on a 12-month basis reached £117 billion in May 2023, twice the level in the period to September 2021.

This surge in interest costs can be attributed to the considerable share of inflation-linked debt in the UK, said the global ratings agency.

Despite the government debt having a long average maturity, the prevalence of inflation-linked bonds has accelerated the pass-through from inflation to interest expenses.

Notably, inflation index-linked debt accounted for nearly 25% of the UK government's debt stock in 2023, far exceeding the figures for other major economies within the G-7.

For comparison, Italy, the second-largest issuer of inflation-linked debt in the G-7, had just 12%, while France was the only other member with a level of over 10%.

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