Slip of the finger adds $14 billion to Spain debt
We've all done it -- that slip of the hand when typing that produces some embarrassing numerical error. Usually, however, there aren't billions of dollars at stake.
Spain's Economy Ministry admitted that a typing error had boosted the country's public debt forecast by 10 billion euros ($13.6 billion), according to a report by the AFP news agency on Thursday.
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Four days after announcing the national debt figure, a ministry spokeswoman issued a statement saying that "it is an erratum." The ministry said 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 on Monday.
The spokeswoman said the error was not due to mathematical computations but the person typing the figures simply mixing up the last two digits.
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The slip of the finger is equivalent to about 10 billion euros -- not an insignificant amount for the euro zone's fourth-largest economy trying to show it is on top of its debt pile, serious about austerity measures and does not need a bailout like its neighbor Portugal.
Although welcome, the latest correction could be cold comfort for a country struggling with record unemployment and a debt pile that has rapidly increased in a small amount of time – Spanish debt to GDP jumped from 69.3 percent in 2011 to 84.2 percent in 2012, according to Eurostat.