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Haiti - Economy : Situation of the public debt in Haiti
26/06/2018 10:17:56

Haiti - Economy : Situation of the public debt in Haiti
In order to divulge the progress made, to make a photograph of the public debt portfolio and to present the challenges to be overcome, Jude Alix Patrick Salomon, the Minister of the Economy and Finance gives his full support to the publication of the bulletin (#6) of the Haitian public debt in the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year 2017-2018. Through this initiative, the Minister says it wants to promote the culture of transparency and encourage academic and scientific research in public finances.

Summary of the situation :

Evolution of the Haitian Economy :
Over the last 5 years, the evolution of the Haitian economy indicates that it has faced some difficulties that have hindered its growth. Among others: social, economic, political and climatic disturbances highlighted by the behavior and the low level of indicators compared to the selected starting year (2013).

From 2013 to 2015, the growth rate of GDP has only fallen. In 2016, it experienced a slight recovery (1.5%) and then relapse to 1.2% in 2017:

4.2% (2012-2013), 2.8% (2013-2014), 1.2% (2014-2015), 1.5% (2015-2016) and 1.2% (2016-2017).

Budget deficit :
The continued superiority of public spending relative to government revenue becomes a harsh reality in the public finances that further widens the budget deficit, which is generally financed by advances generally from the BRH and budget deficit advantage. This unorthodox way of financing has a certain impact on the evolution of the public debt, on inflation and also on the exchange rate (depreciative trend of the gourd).

At the end of the first half of this fiscal year, the deficit was estimated at around 9 billion Gourdes . This is a momentary deficit since we are still in the middle of the fiscal year and, according to forecasts, it should be regularized by the issue of 3.2 billion gourdes of treasury bonds and 35 million dollars in budget support from international partners as well as financial gains on price adjustment of petroleum products.

Evolution of the external debt :
Haiti's external debt stock has grown over the last 25 years. This trend has been justified by Haiti's reliance on external borrowing to finance the recurring budget deficit it has faced for several years.

The public debt has increased by 6.26% on September 30, 2015 compared to September 30, 2014. Almost the same growth rate has been maintained until March 31, 2018. The increase recorded was 3.43% in 2016 compared to 2015; of 2.41% in 2017 compared to 2016 and 0.87% as at 31st March 2018 compared to 30th September 2017. Aside from debt cancellation periods, from September 1995 to March 2018, using external debt to finance fiscal imbalance is becoming more common.

External debt service has been a significant burden on state budgets over the past 25 years. Apart from the obligation to be paid in US dollars, which contributes in part to the deterioration of the Gourde, the external debt service reduces the capacity of the public power. According to what we can see, the external debt service has evolved in the course of the period from 1995 to 2018. It experienced an increase of 130.7% as of September 30, 2015 compared to the fiscal year 2013-2014, this growing trend continues to prevail until March 31, 2018.

At the end of this second quarter of fiscal year 2017-2018 Haiti's public debt stood at 203,051.59 million Gourdes equivalent to more than 3.1 billion US dollars (3,166.97 millions of dollars). The predominance of external debt over domestic debt is still maintained at 67% of the overall portfolio.

Domestic debt ($ 1.04 billion) is largely dominated by claims against the Bank of the Republic of Haiti ($ 848 million) and external debt ($ 2.1 billion) by commitments to Venezuela (1.8 billion dollars) which represents 85% of the external portfolio.

The outstanding amount of public debt has increased by 6% compared to 30 September 2017. The fact that the Ministry of the Economy has taken into account the commitments of some town halls and other public institutions towards the Civil Pension entails in part increase.

As of March 31, 2018 the Treasury had already disbursed more than 8 billion gourdes (8,069.26 million Gourdes) to honor its commitments to its creditors. This amount represents 63% of the amount disbursed over the previous year. From January 2018 to March 2018, ie during the second quarter, more than 3 billion gourdes (3,076.10 million gourdes) were disbursed to pay the public debt service.

From 1995 to the present, the external debt has more than doubled, representing growth of more than 137%.

However, for almost 5 years, there has been a tendency to move towards internal funding. In addition to traditional debt to BRH, portfolio managers to finance the recent implementation of some large state projects have developed instruments to finance specific projects.

Supplier credits :
Launched in 2017 with a value of US $ 123 million, this instrument has made it possible to acquire, until now, certain agricultural and industrial instruments from the private sector on credit payable according to an established schedule.

Loan granted by the civil pension to local authorities and other public institutions :
This loan whose current stock is more than 1.7 billion gourdes (1.714 million Gourdes) allows some municipalities and public institutions to meet funding needs. ;

Treasury Bills :
Initiated in September 2010, current stock of 1.4 billion gourdes (1.400 million Gourdes) Allows the State to cope with the need for cash caused generally by a delay in the level of the entry of public revenues.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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