Wednesday, January 31 2018 19:28
Karine Melikyan

Armenia`s state debt reached $ 6.8 billion, bringing the specific load per capita to $ 2.3 thousand

Armenia`s state debt reached $ 6.8 billion, bringing the specific load per capita to $ 2.3 thousand

ArmInfo. The growth of the state debt of Armenia in 2017 by 15.3% to $ 6.8 billion (3.3 trillion AMD) is due to the growth of both external and internal debt. According to preliminary data of the RA Ministry of Finance, provided to ArmInfo by the National Statistical Service, foreign debt increased by 14.6% to $ 5.5 billion (2.7 trillion AMD) in 2017, while domestic debt grew by 18.2% to $ 1.3 billion (619.5 billion AMD).

By way of comparison, we note that for 2016, the growth of the external debt by 11.6% and domestic debt by 49% increased the total state debt of Armenia by 17%.

In the structure of external debt 89.1% or $ 4.9 billion accounted for by the government, and the remaining 10.9% or $ 601.5 million - by the Central Bank. Moreover, the external debt of the government increased by 14% in 2017, and the Central Bank by 19.2%, against the more modest growth rates in 2016 - 11.8% and 5.9%, respectively.

In the structure of the domestic state debt, government bonds dominate - in 2017 the share fell from 91% to 87.2% ($ 1.1 billion or 540.05 billion drams), with an annual increase in absolute value of 7.9%. Then followed the Armenian Eurobonds - $ 155.1 million or 75.1 billion drams, the share of which increased in 2017 from 8.4% to 12.1%, with an annual increase in the absolute value of 62.2%. The rest is covered by guarantees - 0.7% ($ 9 million), with an annual increase in the absolute value of 28.6%. As a comparison, we note that in 2016 the volume of state bonds in domestic debt increased by 56.3%, Eurobonds, on the contrary, decreased by 2.4%, and the guarantees jumped 3.5 times.

The growing national debt in Armenia and the ongoing migration have already deepened the specific debt load per capita up to $ 2.3 thousand by January 1 2018, of which over $ 1.8 thousand comes from external debt, against respectively $ 2 thousand and over $ 1.6 thousand by January 1, 2017. Taking into account the same real scale of migration burden of public debt per capita would be much higher (according to statistics on January 1, 2018 the population of the RA was 2.973 million, against 2.986 million a year earlier and 3.274 million five years earlier).

For the year 2017 the degree of coverage of external debt with gold and foreign exchange reserves decreased from 45.9% to 39.6% against the backdrop of a significant increase in external debt with a meager decline in reserves. The share of national debt in Armenia's GDP reached 56.6% by the end of 2016. And judging by the expected growth in Armenia's GDP in 2017 (the Central Bank forecasts 6.4% and the government 5.5-6%) against the background of the existing evidence on public debt, the share of the latter in GDP may exceed 58%. According to the World Bank's forecast updated in January 2018, Armenia's GDP growth in 2018 will be 3.8% with an acceleration to 4% in 2019, against the expected 3.7% in 2017. According to official statistics, economic activity in Armenia in 2017 increased by 7.7% per annum. Armenia's GDP growth in 2016 slowed to 0.2% from 3.2% in 2015.

By January 1, 2017 the total state debt of Armenia was 2.9 trillion drams or $ 5.9 billion, in the structure of which the external debt - 2.3 trillion drams or $ 4.8 billion, and domestic - 550 billion drams or $ 1.1 billion. Gold and exchange currency reserves for 2016 increased by 22.2% % - to $ 2.2 billion. Prior to this, in 2015, the degree of coverage of foreign debt with gold and foreign exchange reserves increased from 39.3% to 41.1%, still losing to the level of 2013 - 57.7%. This is the result of the fact that in 2013, with the growth of gold and foreign exchange reserves by 27.8%, the growth of external debt was modest (5%), after which in 2014 the decline in gold and foreign currency reserves by 34.8% was recorded against the backdrop of the growth of external debt by 13.7%, and in 2015 both reserves and foreign debt showed almost the same growth - 20% and 19% respectively.

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