Wednesday, November 1 2017 09:23
Karine Melikyan

The state debt of Armenia has already reached $ 6.3 billion, and the external step has exceeded the $ 5 billion mark

ArmInfo. The state debt of  Armenia reached $ 6.3 billion (3.02 trillion drams) by October 1,  2017, slowing the annual growth rate from 16.7% to 12.5%, which was  provoked by a more significant slowdown in the growth of domestic  debt, from 42.9% to 20% rather than external debt - from 12.2% to  10.9%. As of October 1 this year. external debt amounted to $ 5.1  billion (2.4 trillion drams) or 81%, and domestic debt - $ 1.2  billion (593.3 billion drams) or 19%. According to the preliminary  data of the RA Ministry of Finance, provided by the ArmInfo National  Statistical Service, only in January-September of 2017 the state debt  of Armenia grew by 6.8% due to the growth of external debt by 6.3%  and the increase in internal debt by 9.1%. A year earlier, in  January-September 2016, the growth rate of domestic debt also  outstripped the growth of external debt, but much more significantly  - 31.9% and 7%, respectively, which increased the total national debt  by 9.8%.

In the structure of external debt, 87.9% or $ 4.5 billion fell to the  government, and the remaining 12.1% or $ 611.3 million - to the  Central Bank, against 89% and 11% a year earlier. Moreover, the  government's external debt has slowed the annual growth rate from  13.9% to 9.8%, and the CBR's debt growth has sharply accelerated from  6.1% to 20.7%. Only in January-September of 2017, the external debt  of the Central Bank grew by 21.1% more than the government - 4.7%,  against 6.3% and 7.9%, respectively, against the almost similar  moderate increase in January-September 2016 .

In the structure of the domestic state debt, state bonds dominate: in  January-September of 2017, the share fell from 91% to 89.1% ($ 1.1  billion or 528.4 billion drams), with an annual growth of absolute  value of 21.4%, and only in January-September this year. - by 4.8%.  Then followed the Armenian Eurobonds - $ 126.6 million or 60.6  billion drams, the share of which increased in January-September 2017  from 8.4% to 10.2%, with an annual increase in the absolute value of  57.1%, and only in January-September - on 32.4%.  The rest is covered  by guarantees - 0.7% or $ 9 million with an annual growth of 28.6%,  with a similar growth for January-September. A year earlier, as of  October 1, 2016, the government bonds accounted for 91.3% of the  state debt, 8% for Armenian Eurobonds, and 0.7% for guarantees.

The degree of coverage of foreign debt with gold and foreign exchange  reserves declined in January- September 2017 from 45.9% to 41.3% due  to a fall in reserves by 5% against the backdrop of the continuing  ascent of foreign debt. By way of comparison, we note that in  January-September 2016, the degree of coverage of external debt with  gold and foreign exchange reserves decreased less significantly -  from 41.1% to 39.7%, which was due to a more significant slowdown in  the growth of reserves (from 9.1% in 9 months of 2015 to 2.6% in 9  months of 2016), rather than growth in external debt.

The specific debt load per capita reached $ 2.1 thousand by October  1, 2017, of which $ 1.7 thousand comes from external debt. The growth  of this indicator is due to the continuing ascent of the general  public debt, including external debt, in parallel with which the  population is declining. So, according to the statistics on October  1, 2017 in Armenia, 2.980 million citizens live, compared with 3.270  million on the same date in 2011 (when the specific debt load per  capita was $ 1.2 thousand, of which $ 1.1 thousand came from external  debt). At that time, as of October 1, 2011, the degree of coverage of  external debt with gold and foreign exchange reserves was 55.6%,  against the backdrop of the slightly different rates of the  nine-month growth in reserves and external debt, respectively 4.8%  and 6.6% (with an annual increase of 5% , 5% and 8.9% respectively).

Recall that in 2016 the total public debt of Armenia rose by 15.7% to  $ 5.9 billion, in particular, foreign debt - by 11.6% - to $ 4.8  billion, and domestic - by 49.7% - to $ 1.14 billion (against $ 761.5  million in 2015). In 2016, the degree of coverage of external debt  with gold and foreign exchange reserves increased from 41.1% to 45.9%  against the backdrop of an increase in external debt for this period  by 11.6%, with an increase in reserves by 22.2%. Due to the growing  national debt and high migration, the specific debt load per capita  reached $ 2 thousand by January 1, 2017, of which over $ 1.6 thousand  came from external debt.  According to the statistical data for  2011-2016, the population of the Republic of Armenia decreased from  3.274 million to 2.987 million. As a result of 2016, the share of the  national debt in Armenia's GDP was 56.6%, compared to 48.7% in 2015,  and only in external debt the share in GDP increased from 41 , 4% in  2015 to 45.8% in 2016. Armenia's GDP growth slowed in 2016 to 0.2%  from 3.2% in 2015. In January- September 2017, the annual growth  rates of economic activity accelerated from 1.6% to 5.1%. According  to the forecasts of the Central Bank and the Government of the  Republic in 2017, it will be possible to ensure higher GDP growth  rates than the planned 3.2% in the state budget program, and by 2015  it is forecasted real GDP growth of 5.5%.

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