Overview

government debt


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Debt owed by the government at any level. It is necessary to net out any debt owed by one level of government to another, such as central government debt held as financial reserves by local authorities. Government debt may be measured gross or net, when some firms or individuals are indebted to the government, for example through local authority mortgages. The status of debt carrying a government guarantee but issued by other bodies, such as nationalized industries, is ambiguous; such debts may or may not be included in estimates of government debt. Where government securities fluctuate in market value, government debt is normally calculated using their par values.

Subjects: Economics.


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