PH debt stock hit record high P13.7T in Jan. ’23
With new borrowings outrunning debt payments, the national government’s outstanding obligations increased by 2 percent to reach yet another record high of P13.7 trillion at end-January this year, according to the Bureau of the Treasury.
The growth rate represents a net addition in January of P280 billion to the debt stock.
Of total outstanding obligations, 68.5 percent was owed to domestic lenders and 31.5 percent to foreign creditors.
In January, local debt increased by 1.9 percent or P176.55 billion to P9.38 trillion mainly because the government’s new borrowings were more than the payments made that month.
For the same reason, foreign debt increased by 2.4 percent or P103.08 billion to P4.31 trillion.
Also in January, the Philippine peso’s appreciation relative to the US dollar trimmed the peso value of foreign currency-denominated debt by P93.84 billion. However, this was not enough to prevent an overall increase in the debt stock.
Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said the debt stock increased in January after the seasonal lull or decrease in December.Ricafort said there was also less net repayment of some debt as there was a relatively lower amount of maturing Treasury bonds in January.
New York-based think tank GlobalSource Partners noted that just a month earlier, the debt stock to gross domestic product settled at 60.9 percent at the end of 2022, which is “much better than the government’s 62 percent program.
— Ronnel W. Domingo INQ
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