Monday, April 5 2021 22:00
Karine Melikyan

Armenia`s national debt is approaching $9 billion

Armenia`s national debt is approaching $9 billion

ArmInfo. Armenia's national debt exceeded $8.7 billion by March 2021, increasing by 17.6% year-on - year, and by 9.2% in January-February alone, of which 8.5% growth  occurred in February, while a year earlier in February 2020, by  February 2019, growth was more modest - 6%, and in January-February  and only in February, the upward rate was equally low - at 1.4%.

This is evidenced by the preliminary data of the Ministry of Finance of  the Republic of Armenia, published by the State Committee.

In particular, the acceleration of annual growth (February 2021 to  February 2020) was observed both for external debt-from 4% to 19.3%,  and for domestic debt - from 14.1% to 18.8%, the absolute value of  which reached $6.8 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively, by March.   Only in February, the dynamics of these indicators were mixed-the  growth of external debt by 11.5% was accompanied by a decline in  domestic debt by 1.9%, while a year earlier in February, the opposite  picture was observed - a decline in external debt by 0.2% was  accompanied by an increase in domestic debt by 1.5%. In January -  February 2021, external debt also increased by 11.5%, while domestic  debt grew by only 0.3%, against last year's multidirectional dynamics  (in January-February 2020) - a decline in external debt by 0.8% was  accompanied by an increase in domestic debt by 5.1%.

In the structure of external debt, the government's share increased  in January-February 2021 from 92.4% to 92.6% (against 93% a year  earlier), amounting to $ 6.3 billion. And the Central Bank's share,  on the contrary, decreased from 8.2% to 7.4% (against 8.5% a year  earlier), amounting to $500.8 million. Moreover, in February 2021,  the government's external debt significantly accelerated its annual  growth to 18.9%, and the Central Bank's external debt increased by  3.2%, against the multidirectional annual dynamics in February 2020,  when the government's debt growth by 5.5% was accompanied by a  decline in the Central Bank's debt by 11.8%. Only in February 2021,  the government's external debt increased by 12.5%, while the Central  Bank's debt grew by 0.2%, against a decline in both cases in February  r2020 - by 1.9% and 0.1%, respectively.

The structure of domestic public debt is dominated by government  bonds, the share of which was 95.2% ($1.8 billion) in February 2021,  with a slowdown in the annual growth of the absolute value from 21%  to 20%. This is followed by Armenian Eurobonds - $91.3 million, the  share of which in February 2021 was 4.8%, with the acceleration of  the annual decline in absolute value from 27% to 28%. As a  comparison, we note that in February 2020, the share of government  bonds in domestic debt was lower - 92.2%, and Eurobonds are higher -  7,8%.

It should be noted that the March updated forecast of the World Bank  predicts an increase in Armenia's public debt to 70.8% of GDP in 2021  (from the actual 67.3% in 2020), with a slight decrease in 2022 to  70.6% of GDP. And this is despite the fact that the World Bank has  slightly improved the forecast GDP growth in Armenia for 2021 to 3.4%  (from the previous 3.1%), with an acceleration in 2022 to 4.3%,  against the actual decline of 7.6% in 2020.

Recall that by the end of 2020, the total state debt of Armenia was  $7.968 billion, in the structure of which the external debt is $6.053  billion, and the internal debt is $1.915 billion. The acceleration in  the growth of public debt in 2020 from 5.8% to 8.8% was due to the  acceleration in the growth of domestic debt from 10.7% to 24.6% ,  while maintaining a 4.6% growth in external debt. -

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