The IMF in its ‘Fiscal Monitor’ publication released on Monday (18 April) projected that among 37 Emerging Market and Middle Income Economies (EMMIE) captured in a survey, Sri Lanka’s debt at 109 per cent of GDP this year (2022) and 107.5 per cent in the next (2023), will have the largest debt ratio percentage.
Meanwhile, the second and third highest this year will be Egypt (94 per cent of GDP) and Brazil (91.9 per cent), while the lowest will be Kuwait (8.7 per cent), it said. In the SAARC region, other than Sri Lanka, only two other countries are captured in the survey. They are India and Pakistan, respectively.
According to the IMF, India and Pakistan’s debt to GDP ratio are projected at 86.8 and 74 per cent, respectively, this year.
Meanwhile, in the next (2023), the second and third highest debt to GDP ratios among EMMIE countries will be Brazil (92.8 per cent) and Egypt (89.6 per cent), respectively.
These ratios for Pakistan and India are projected to be at 66.8 and 86.6 per cent, respectively.
In related developments, the IMF projected that last year (2021), among 39 EMMIE countries captured in the survey, Sri Lanka’s debt at 107.2 per cent of GDP had the second highest debt ratio after Venezuela (307 per cent).
Venezuela was excluded in their 2022 and 2023 surveys. The other country included in the 2021 survey, but excluded in the 2022 and 2023 surveys is Ecuador. Ecuador had a low debt to GDP ratio of 34 per cent in 2021.
The IMF survey also showed that Sri Lanka’s revenue as a percentage of GDP projected at 10.8 per cent each for this year and the next (2023), would be only lower than Iran, 8.9 and 8.8 per cent respectively for the two years in question. Meanwhile, in Pakistan and India, revenue for 2022 and 2023 are projected at 12.6 and 18.9 per cent and 12.9 and 19.1 per cent each, respectively.
Last year, IMF projected that Sri Lanka, with a revenue percentage equivalent to 8.9 per cent among 39 countries captured in that survey, will have had the third lowest revenue percentage, with the lowest being Venezuela (5.6 per cent) and the second lowest Iran (8.2 per cent), respectively.
Meanwhile, the IMF projected that the highest revenue percentages from 2021-2023 will be Kuwait at 51.9, 55 and 58.9 per cent, respectively.
In other developments, Sri Lanka with an expenditure to GDP percentages of 20.1 and 21.3 per cent in 2022 and 2023 will be having the sixth and fourth lowest expenditure percentages respectively among 37 EMMIE countries.
In 2022 the five lowest expenditure to GDP ratio EMMIE countries will be Iran (12.8 per cent), Dominican Republic (17.2 per cent) Indonesia (17.5 per cent), Angola (18.2 per cent) and Pakistan (18.4 per cent) and in 2023 the four lowest, Iran (15.6 per cent), Pakistan (17.1 per cent) Angola (17.7 per cent), respectively. Meanwhile, these ratios for India are projected to be at 28.8 per cent in 2022 and 28.2 per cent in 2023, respectively.
By Paneetha Ameresekere