Expectations of rise in public debt in Jordan by 115.8% of GDP

[06-10-2022 12:41 PM]

Ammon News - The World Bank expected Jordan's public debt to rise gradually from 115.6% this year to 117.9% in 2024, according to its Global Economic Prospects report.

According to the report issued on Wednesday, the public debt to GDP, which reached 113.7% last year, may reach 116.9% next year.

The World Bank indicated that the ratio of calculating the Jordanian net public debt to the gross domestic product, excluding social security debt, reached 91.9% last year, and is expected to rise in the current and next years to 92.6%, and then decline to 91.8% in 2024.

The World Bank estimates that the financial pressures from losses in the electricity and water sectors will lead to an increase in the total public debt to 115.8% of GDP in the current year (excluding the debt of the Social Security Investment Fund, the ratio reaches about 92.8%).

The public debt to the gross domestic product in Jordan increased by 107.6% in the first half of this year, reaching 36.524 billion dinars, noting that "the debt rose by 757 million dinars in the first half of this year compared to the end of 2021", according to the latest data of the Ministry of Finance.

In its data, the bank indicated that local revenues grew by 10%, driven by an increase in taxes on income and profits from companies, noting that “the ratio of public debt to GDP reached 113.7% at the end of last year, and reached 37.1 billion Jordanian dinars in last May, with a growth of 1.5%.

The Jordanian economy has been affected by multiple external shocks over the past decade, as regional conflicts have caused a large influx of refugees and disrupted trade routes and major export markets, while the economic slowdown in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has reduced foreign capital inflows to Jordan.

The World Bank indicated that interest rates in Jordan have increased by 5% points since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, in addition to the rise in the yields of its bonds in the markets, explaining that “if global interest rates continue to rise, the increased will fall upon the countries with bearing their debts over time, Especially in countries that already have high levels of debt such as Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt."

The rise in global commodity prices led to an acceleration of overall inflation, which averaged 3.6% during the six-month period of 2022, while the Central Bank of Jordan responded by raising the interest rate four times during 2022, and moving it to 4.50% at the end of July.

The World Bank expected the Jordanian economy to grow by 2.1% this year, noting that Jordan's economic growth recovered at the beginning of 2022, supported by the recovery of major service sectors, especially tourism, which helped push the wheel of growth in Jordan.

Jordan's economy is expected to grow by 2.3% for the next year, according to a report issued by the World Bank.

The report indicated that Jordan's goods exports witnessed strong growth, but the global food and energy crisis still weighed on local prices through the import bill.

Labor market conditions remain “the biggest threat to the well-being of families” in Jordan, and it may not have fully recovered from the shock of Covid-19, according to the report, while the latest available data from 2018 indicated that the poverty rate reached 15.7%.

The loss of revenue is a financial problem for Jordan, which amounts to about 1% of GDP annually.

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