Stats Monitor, use case 2

An example of how Stats Monitor can be used in cases where journalists produce an article prompted by interesting data sent by the tool though its notification service.


Government debt in the European Union continues to follow a downward trend. According to the latest data from Eurostat, in the third quarter of 2018 this debt amounted to 80.8% relative to the EU’s GDP. The peak was reached in 2015, when this percentage was 87.6%. If we narrow our focus on the eurozone, a similar trend is evident, but with higher values: in the third quarter of 2018, government debt as a percentage of eurozone GDP was 86.1%.

However, a look at individual countries reveals major disparities behind the aggregate data. Certain countries not only stand out for their growing government debt, but also for the level of that debt relative to GDP. From 2006 on, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain and Slovenia have all seen clear increases.

Looking at the magnitude of debts incurred, and the respective sizes of the economies concerned, Italy stands out with a debt of 133% relative to national GDP.

Needless to say, since Italy is one of Europe’s largest economies, this debt is the largest in absolute terms, exceeding 2,330 billion euro.


Here is how we produced this example of how to use the Stats Monitor:

  • The premise comes from one of the datasets regularly monitored by the Stats Monitor (and about which the tool sends periodic notifications)
  • The graphic automatically generated by the Stats Monitor has been transformed and customised: we changed the graphical form to highlight changes over time, and chose to contrast two specific areas (the European Union and the eurozone)
  • we illustrated the trends in specific countries, and adjusted the visualisation accordingly
  • we presented the data in absolute terms and in percentage terms, selecting the most relevant indicators from among the options provided by the Stats Monitor