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LatinNews Daily - 18 May 2021

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In brief: Costa Rica hails fiscal deficit progress

* Costa Rica’s finance ministry has released new figures which show the country’s fiscal deficit to April was ¢466.07bn (US$758m), representing 1.23% of GDP – the lowest of the last six years as a percentage of GDP. This compares with ¢786.35bn registered at the same point the previous year, which was equivalent to 2.18% of GDP. As of April this year, public debt was ¢25,659.74bn (67.8% of GDP). Last year, following the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Costa Rica posted a fiscal deficit of 8.1% of GDP, and a public debt of 67.5% of GDP. The government has explained the improvement in terms of a recovery of the tax take and the application of measures to contain government spending. It highlighted that this reaffirms its commitment to fiscal responsibility in line with targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with which the government reached an agreement earlier this year over a US$1.78bn 36-month extended financial assistance arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Costa Rica to address the impact of the pandemic.