Spain's government debt has continued to rise - along with the nation's rate of joblessness - as it attempts to avoid the fate of Portugal and Greece with the deepest cuts in public spending in at least a generation.
The ratio of Spain's government debts to the size of its economy will rise to nearly 80 percent this year, according to government documents linked to last week's budget statement, the highest since 1978. The figure surpasses last year's 68.5 percent tally and calls into question its ability to both grow the region's fourth-largest economy and trim is budget deficit to the preferred EU target.
"Spain will need some kind of Troika support over the next few months," Citi Private Bank's Global Chief Investment Officer Richard Cookson told CNBC Europe Television Tuesday. "The are shooting for a budget deficit of 5.3 percent. They think it is going to undershoot that by at least a percentage point so probably more like 6.6 percent and it doesn't look terribly good."
In a separate report, Spain's Labor Ministry said the number of registered jobless claims rose for the eighth consecutive month in March to 4.75m. The country's offical unemployment rate stands at 22.9 percent - the highest in the European Union and more than double the Eurozone average. Youth enemployment, defined as those under 25 and out of work, in unofficially estimated at 50 percent.
Spain's benchmark IBEX index fell around 0.75 percent in European morning trading, dipping under 8,000 for only the second time since November of last year. Ten-year government bond yields were marginally higher at 5.36 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
The country's debt management agency will likely make fewer long-bond sales this year as it seeks to fund the government's budget deficit, it said today. The move will reduce the average maturity of outstanding debt to 6.2 years from the current 6.4. Around 45 percent of the agency's €37bn 2012 funding target has been completed.
Interest payments on current debt are expected to cost around 2.75 percent of GDP this year, the government said, while redemptions (debt which will mature this year) will reach €149.3bn. Spain borrowed a net €48.2bn from the bond markets last year.
Spain detailed its €27bn austerity programme Friday - an amount equal to 2.5 percent of GDP - as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy seeks to reduce its current 8.5 percent budget deficit to 5.3 percent.