German finance minister expects public debt to peak at 80% of GDP

FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a statement during the second day of the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Economics and Financial Affairs in Berlin, Germany September 12, 2020. Odd Andersen/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday he expected public debt to reach around 80% of Germany’s economic output by the end of the coronavirus crisis, the level it reached at the end of the global financial crisis.

Current finance ministry forecasts foresee public debt reaching 75% of gross domestic product by the end of 2021.

“We will probably see it (public debt) rise on the order of the increase we saw last time, so to around 80%, by the time this thing ends,” he said in a speech to a conference on business in eastern Germany.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Thomas Seythal