Public debt sustainable, Finance Ministry says - Cyprus Profile


    Articles | 01 November 2017

    Public debt sustainable, Finance Ministry says

    Cyprus’ public debt is deemed sustainable and will continue the downward path it entered in 2015, in all four sensitivity analysis scenarios, the Finance Ministry said.

    In the basic scenario, the government debt, which fell to a revised 107.1% of economic output last year after peaking at 107.5% in 2015, is expected to drop to 99.7% in 2018, the finance ministry said in its fiscal risks report, dated September 2017. Under the same scenario, the public debt is expected to further fall to 94.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 and to 88.8% the following year.

    The first scenario provides for an increase in the annual interest rate of public debt by 0.5 percentage points over the next three-year period, the second a slowdown of economic growth by also 0.5%, the third a reduction of the primary surplus generated by 0.5% of economic output and the fourth a combination of the other three scenarios with a deviation of each variable by 0.25 percentage points, the ministry said.

    While all four scenarios allow for a reduction of public debt as a percentage of GDP, the fist scenario, that provides for increase in borrowing costs, leads to a gradual decline of public debt to 91.9% by 2020, the largest drop among all four scenarios, the ministry said. The economic slowdown scenario, on the other hand, will allow public debt to drop to 101.3% by 2020.

    Under the third scenario, the reduced primary deficit will allow the government to reduce debt to 96.2% in three years, the finance ministry said. Last, under the fourth scenario, which provides a mixture of deviations from base-scenario, the government will be in position to reduce its debt to 97.4%.

    In September, the ministry revised its economic growth forecast to 3.6% from a previous 3%. The economy is expected to expand next year around 3 % and growth is forecast to slow down to 2.7% in 2019 and 2020. The government is expected to generate a fiscal surplus of 1% of GDP next year compared to 0.9% this year. In 2019, it is expected to post a 1% increase and a further 1.1% the following year.

    Source: Cyprus Mail

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