Cost of debt began to go back in 2021

Decreased for ten years, the debt burden increased by 15 % last year, and should further increase in 2022. A paradigm change that will weigh on the five -year term.


This is the secret ingredient of states to make “magic money”. Since the 2008 crisis, borrowing has almost costs the state. In public accounts, the debt burden, in other words the interest paid each year by the State, has hardly stopped lowering since 2011, forming a curious paradox: the more debt increases, the less it costs.

While the French debt increased by 1,000 billion euros in ten years to around 3,000 billion euros in 2022, the debt burden, it fell by almost 10 billion of euros, reaching a low point in 2020. The drop in interest rates, regularly negative between 2019 and 2021, systematically absorbed the increase in debt stock, as the securities issued were renewed on the markets. An exceptional configuration which allowed successive governments to finance their promises without difficulty, while posting the year after year of the savings of several billion euros in the budget.

risk of a monetary screw

In 2021, the State thus planned to finance itself for the first time more by debt than by tax, as pointed out by the general rapporteur of the budget in the Senate, Jean-François Husson, in his Report On the finance bill. A miracle made possible by the extraordinarily accommodating monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB), decided to support the finances of European States to preserve the cohesion of the euro zone after the subprime crisis.

Only here. The COVID-19, then the war in Ukraine had inflation restart, and with it, the risk of a monetary screw of the ECB, whose mandate is first to contain the increase in prices. Part of the French debt – around 10 % – is indeed indexed on French and European inflation, which makes it sensitive to the variations observed since fall. An inflation point adds the cost of the debt of 2.5 billion euros.

It started to repercussions in the price at which France is financed. The cost of debt resumed its progress last year for the first time since 2011. According to a INSEE note published at the end of March, the interest load climbed 15 % last year compared to 2020, i.e. 5 billion more in one year, at 38.1 billion euros. She had dropped almost as much in the previous year. But the situation evolves very quickly: in the fall of 2021, during the debate on the finance law for 2022, Bercy had to add by Amendment More than a billion credits for debt load, at 39.5 billion D ‘euros.

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/Media reports.