General gov’t debt up 7%

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    The country’s consolidated general government (GG) debt rose by 7.1 percent as of March 2019 versus the end of 2018 level, the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement yesterday.

    The DOF said the GG debt stood at P6.7 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, an increase from the P6.3 trillion level at the end of 2018.

    As a percentage of gross domestic product, GG debt registered at 38 percent, up by two percentage points from the 36 percent recorded as of end-2018.

    GG debt includes the outstanding debt of the national government (NG), social security institutions (SSIs), the central bank board of liquidators and local government units, minus intra-sector debt holdings of government securities, including those held by the bond sinking fund (BSF).

    Of the total, 62.2 percent or P4.2 trillion are domestic borrowings and 37.8 percent or P2.5 trillion are external.

    NG debt net of the BSF grew to P7.3 trillion, an increase of 14.2 percent from last year’s level of P6.4 trillion.

    The DOF said this was mainly driven by domestic debt which grew by 16.4 percent while external debt increased by eight percent over the same period.

    Local government debt increased by 5.4 percent or P5 billion compared to the end of 2018.

    SSIs such as the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System did not contribute to the debt stock, while simultaneously increasing their intra-sector holdings of government securities by 63.4 percent.