by Linda Straker
- Public debt increase attributable in part to new borrowing, oversubscriptions and a new Government-guaranteed loan
- By end of 2021, total stock of debt was 70.6% of Gross Domestic Product
- External and domestic debts were 77.9% and 22.1% respectively of total public debt
At the end of 2021, Grenada’s public debt increased by EC$113.2 million. This 5.7% increase moved the debt from EC$1,988.5 million to EC$2,101.6 million.
“This is attributable to new borrowing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, oversubscriptions allowed on the Regional Governments’ Securities Market (RGSM), disbursements on new and existing loans and a new Government-guaranteed loan contracted by a State-owned enterprise,” explained the latest Public Debt Bulletin which is published on the Ministry of Finance website.
The report did not name the state-owned enterprise. There are over 20 state-owned entities, including Housing Authority of Grenada, National Water and Sewage Authority, National Lotteries Authority, and Spicemas Corporation.
The bulletin said that by the end of 2021, the total stock of debt was 70.6% of Gross Domestic Product. “It comprised of Central Government’s external and domestic debt and to a lesser extent domestic Government-guaranteed debt,” it said.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, external debt was a tad lower (0.1%) than it was at the end of the third quarter. “But over the 1-year period of the fourth quarter in 2020 to the fourth quarter in 2021external debt increased by 6.9%, as the majority of new funding, most of which was contracted in the first half of 2021, was contracted from external sources,” explained the Ministry of Finance.
Domestic debt showed a similar trend when compared to the third quarter in 2021 and the fourth quarter in 2020 as it increased over the 1-year period by 1.7% but decreased when compared to the third quarter by a negligible 0.3%.
External and domestic debts were 77.9% and 22.1% respectively of total public debt, at the end of 2021.
With regards to State-owned enterprises and their debt, the bulletin said that at the end of the third quarter in 2021, the total debt stock (unaudited) of state-owned enterprises was EC$532.3 million or 17.9% of GDP. This is inclusive of the debt obligations of Petro Caribe, which is EC$372.1 million or 12.5% of GDP. All loans contracted by state-owned enterprises are long-term loans.