LatinNews Daily - 02 August 2021

In brief: Panama presents 2022 draft budget

* Panama’s economy & finance minister, Héctor Alexander, has presented the government’s proposed 2022 budget to the national assembly. The draft budget is for US$25.12bn, 3.6% higher than the 2021 budget. Details on projected tax revenue or spending were not made public but Alexander said that the budget proposal reflects the “ongoing impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19)" pandemic, which contributed to Panama’s GDP dropping by 17.9% in 2020. A report by the international credit ratings agency, Moody’s Investors Service, which downgraded Panama’s rating in March, cited as the key driver for its decision “the very material deterioration in Panama’s fiscal strength driven by the severe economic shock” from the pandemic. Panama’s fiscal deficit reached 10.1% of GDP last year, up from 3.1% in 2019. Government debt stood at US$37bn, representing 69.8% of GDP in 2020, up from 46.4% in 2019. 

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