At 100% of GDP, Congo’s public debt remains unsustainable according to the IMF

Congo’s public debt reached 100% of GDP in 2020, according to a statement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It “remains unsustainable,” comments the institution, which expects a decline in 2021, to around 87% of GDP.

The country has received debt service relief from official creditors for 2020 and the first half of 2021 as part of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (ISSD), recalls the IMF in its statement released on February 26, 2021.

“The authorities have made progress in discussing debt restructuring agreements with their external creditors. However, they need to step up their efforts and quickly complete restructuring in order to restore medium-term debt sustainability — which is essential for sustainable development and poverty reduction, ”adds the IMF.

Strongly dependent on oil which represents more than 80% of income, the country is experiencing difficult economic conditions with the depreciation of prices on the market. “In 2021, improved oil revenues will push the overall fiscal position into surplus. However, the non-oil primary deficit will increase to 18%, due to increased social and capital spending to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and lay the groundwork for a resilient recovery, ”the Fund also said.

Congo’s public debt reached a record 117% of GDP in 2017 before dropping to 87.8% in 2018.

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