LatinNews Daily - 22 April 2022

In brief: Costa Rica hails fiscal deficit progress

*Costa Rica’s finance ministry has published new figures which show the country’s fiscal deficit to March 2022 was ¢331.091bn (US$505m) representing 0.77% of GDP and down from the ¢395.530bn registered at the same point in 2021. The finance ministry highlighted that this was the lowest of the last 13 years. It also highlighted that in the first three months the country registered a primary surplus equivalent to 0.85% of GDP and that in the month of March the country registered its highest ever tax take of ¢835.022bn, equivalent to 1.95% of GDP. Meanwhile in the first three months, public debt was ¢28.44trn (66.46% of GDP) of which 73.98% was domestic debt and 26.02% foreign debt. President Carlos Alvarado, who is due to leave office next month, hailed the figures, noting these were well within the targets set under the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with which the country has a three-year US$1.76bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement. According to international credit ratings agency Fitch, which last month revised up Costa Rica’s outlook, the country’s total deficit reached 5.0% in 2021 from 8.0% in 2020. Fitch expects the government will reach a 0.4% of GDP primary surplus in 2022, beating the -0.3% EFF target and that the overall deficit will narrow to 4.5%.

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