Macedonia reports first annual decline in public debt to GDP ratio since 2008

Macedonia reports first annual decline in public debt to GDP ratio since 2008
Macedonia's new government has accused its predecessor of jeopardising public finances through lavish spending on the Skopje 2014 project to revamp the capital.
By bne IntelliNews January 31, 2018

Macedonia’s public debt totaled €4.787bn at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, up by 2% from the previous quarter, finance ministry data published on January 31 indicated. Compared with the end of 2016, the end-2017 debt was 1.6% higher.

Macedonia's public debt to GDP ratio was 46.7% at the end of Q4, up from 45.8% at the end of Q3 and down from 48.5% at end-2016, the data indicated. This is the first time the public debt to GDP ratio has fallen on a annual basis since 2008.

The debt deepened on a quarterly basis in Q4 due to the higher external and domestic public debt. However on an annual basis the external debt fell, but domestic debt was much higher.

External public debt edged up 0.4% q/q to €3.187.bn at end-December and was down 3% compared to end-2016.

On the other hand, domestic public debt moved up by 5.4% q/q, to €1.599bn, and jumped by 12.2% from the last year-end.

The public debt includes the general government debt and the guaranteed debt of public enterprises and state-owned joint-stock companies.

General government debt (central government, public funds, and municipalities) rose by 2.1% q/q to €3.958bn at end-December, and was 2.8% higher than at end-2016.

Government debt was equivalent to 38.7% of the country’s GDP, slightly up from 37.8% of GDP in the previous quarter and down from 39.6% at end-2016.

The guaranteed debt of state firms went up 1.5% q/q to €828.4mn and fell 3.7% from end-2016.

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