Central America’s Public Debt

Central American countries alleviated much of the effects of the global crisis by issuing public debt; they now face the challenge of keeping it at reasonable levels.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Capitales.com analyzed the relation between debt and GDP for each country in Central America. They noted that although Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras are within acceptable levels, they are dangerously close to surpassing them.

The relation between debt and GDP is already above the recommended 40% in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama. In the latter, however, the situation is less dangerous, given Panama’s good economic performance and optimistic future outlook.

ICEFI, the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies, noted that “Central American societies must reach fiscal agreements to maintain acceptable debt levels in the short and medium term, while paying attention to expanding social (education, health, housing, etc) and economic spending (roads, bridges, energy generation, etc).

More on this topic

Guatemala: Public Debt Exceeds 23% of GDP

October 2018

Up to August, the external and internal public debt amounted to $18.463 billion, equivalent to 23.4% of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

According to figures from the Ministry of Public Finance, in the last nine years the debt to GDP ratio has slightly varied, between 23.3% and 24.8%.

Fiscal Outlook in Central America

February 2018

In one of the regions that receives the least amount of taxes in the world, the tax burden remained relatively stable in 2017.

From the section Fiscal Outlook for Central America, from the report "Macro-fiscal Profiles: 9th edition", by the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (Icefi):

Central America Fiscal Outlook - November 2015

November 2015

While the Northern Triangle countries strive to reduce or at least maintain constant levels of debt / GDP, Costa Rica and Panama move further away from fiscal discipline, the former at the greatest pace.

From the introduction of a report entitled "Macrofiscal Profiles : 4th Edition." by the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi):

Central America Fiscal Outlook

July 2015

With the exception of improvements in Nicaragua and Honduras, in the rest of the Central American countries problems in public finances range from latent in Panama and already serious in Guatemala, to critical in Costa Rica and El Salvador.

From the report "Macrofiscal Profiles: 4th Edition" by the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi):

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