Typo adds 10 billion euros to Spanish debt 打錯字使西班牙債務暴增一百億歐元

Sat, Dec 07, 2013 - Page 10

A simple typographical error boosted Spain’s 2014 public debt forecast by 10 billion euros (US$13.62 billion), the government admitted recently.

Four days after announcing the national debt figure to the world, the Economy Ministry issued a correction. “It is an erratum,” an economy ministry spokesperson said.

It turns out that Spain’s public debt in 2014 is expected to be the equivalent of 98.9 percent of total economic output, not the 99.8 percent figure that was originally published.

The error was not due to a problem in mathematical computations, the spokeswoman said. Rather, the person who typed the number just mixed up the last two digits.

The difference may seem minimal, but when dealing with an economy the size of Spain’s, which is the fourth biggest in the euro zone, it is equivalent to about 10 billion euros.

Even after trimming the excess 10 billion euros from the forecast, economists say Spain’s debt is rising at a worrying speed as it struggles to emerge from a double-dip recession triggered when a property bubble imploded in 2008.

Spain’s public debt soared from 68.5 percent of total economic output in 2011 to 85.9 percent at the end of last year and 92.2 percent midway through this year.

(Liberty Times)

一個單純的錯字使得西班牙二0一四年度的公債預測暴增了一百億歐元(一百三十六億兩千萬美元),西國政府最近坦承。

在向全球宣布國債數據四天後,西國經濟部又公布了更正聲明。該部女發言人說,「這是個錯字。」

西國二0一四年的公債應該相當於整體經濟產出的百分之九十八點九,而非原先公布的百分之九十九點八。

據該名發言人指出,這項錯誤並非出自數學計算的問題,而是負責鍵入這個數字的人把最後兩位數弄錯了。

這個差別看似微小,但由於西班牙的經濟規模是歐元區第四大,因此兩個數字的差距換算後相當於一百億歐元。

即使把多餘的一百億歐元自預測中刪除後,經濟學家表示西國債務仍以令人憂心的速度快速增長。西國正努力走出因為二00八年房地產泡沫破滅所引發的二次經濟衰退。

西國二0一一年時的公債相當於整體經濟產出的百分之六十八點五,至去年底增至百分之八十五點九,今年中則已升至百分之九十二點二。

(自由時報/翻譯:俞智敏)