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LatinNews Daily - 21 September 2021

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In brief: Costa Rica claims fiscal deficit progress

* Costa Rica’s finance ministry has released new figures which show the country’s fiscal deficit to August was ¢1.32trn (US$2.12bn), representing 3.46% of GDP. This compares with ¢2.0trn registered at the same point the previous year, which was equivalent to 5.55% of GDP. The finance ministry hailed this as evidence of its commitment with “fiscal sustainability” in line with the recent financial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved by Costa Rica’s congress in July. As of August 2021, public debt was ¢27trn (70.79% 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. However, it also noted that interest payments on debt reached ¢1.35trn (3.53% of GDP) – the highest of the last 15 years, adding that the fiscal adjustment outlined in the recent IMF agreement would be “transcendental” to reducing this.