LatinNews Daily - 23 June 2023

In brief: Costa Rica claims to be on track for IMF fiscal target

* Costa Rica’s finance ministry has released new figures which show that as of May 2023, the country registered a primary surplus of 1.1% of GDP, equivalent to ¢497.47bn (US$915.27m), which it said was in line with targets of at least ¢305bn in the first half of 2023, agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with which it has an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement worth US$1.78bn. The fiscal deficit was ¢395.77bn, equivalent to 0.8% of GDP, up ¢53.94bn on the same period in 2022, a rise that it attributes to interest payments on government debt, which are equivalent to 1.9% of GDP. It said that debt payments totalled ¢893.25bn, up 10.3% on the same period in 2022, which it says is the highest amount registered in 18 years to May. According to the same figures, central government debt reached ¢28.57trn (or 61.1% of GDP) down from 63.8% of GDP at the close of 2022. As regards the composition of debt, 76.0% is domestic debt and 24.0% foreign debt. In a statement the finance ministry said that its “strategy continues to generate good results”, but that the “Achilles’ heel of Costa Rican public finances continues to be debt and interest payments”.

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