The Czech Republic's gross central government debt increased by CZK 15.7bn in 2013 to CZK 1.683tn ( EUR 62bn ), the finance ministry said. The end-December 2013 debt equalled to 43.7% of the GDP, up from 43.4% a year ago. The growth of the debt was the slowest since 1996, the ministry said attributing the slight increase to higher financial reserves as the ministry could use about 60% of the reserves from end-2012 to finance the state's need last year thanks to a change in regulations. In 2013 the state budget ended in a deficit of CZK 81.3bn, below the planned CZK 100bn and the difference will be used to cover financing needs in 2014. Short-term debt increased by 0.4pps from end-Sep to 15.8% of the total as of end-Dec, while medium-term debt (payable within five years) fell by 1.1ps to 53.6%. The finance ministry issued CZK 145.6bn worth of medium- and long-term bonds on the domestic market, representing 85.3% of the annual maximum issuance limit for this type of financing under the revised 2013 financing programme. Savings government bonds worth CZK 39.1bn were sold in 2013, or 97.8% of the maximum limit under the revised programme. There were no bond issues on the foreign market last year. The ministry drew CZK 4.3bn loans from the European Investment Bank in 2013.
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