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Jordan’s public debt balloons, topping JD19b

By Petra - Jan 28,2014 - Last updated at Jan 28,2014

AMMAN — Jordan’s public debt exceeded JD19 billion at the end of November 2013, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Finance figures, the debt shot up by 15 per cent or JD2,484 million reaching JD19.065 billion.

The monthly bulletin carried on the ministry’s website showed the figure rising from JD16.580 billion at the end of 2012.

Subsequently, the public debt represented 79.5 per cent of the estimated gross domestic product (GDP) for 2013 compared with 75.5 per cent of the GDP of 2012.

The external debt totalled JD7,202.8 million or 30 per cent of the estimated GDP for 2013 with a debt service of around JD112.2 million, while at the end of 2012, the external debt was JD4,932.4 million or 22.5 per cent.

The domestic public debt reached around JD11,862 million at the end of November 2013, representing 49.4 per cent of the estimated GDP for 2013 compared with JD11,648 million at the end of 2012 or 53 per cent of the 2012 GDP.

The domestic debt covers both the central government and its independent entities.

The ministry’s bulletin also pointed to the $1.25 billion US-guaranteed Eurobonds issued by the Jordanian government, carrying an interest rate of 2.503 per cent and set to mature in 2020.

Other data showed that the state budget deficit, excluding external foreign grants, widened to JD1,680.2 million compared with JD1,523.8 million.

If external grants are taken into account, the deficit narrows down to JD1,100.8 million compared with JD1,427.2 million.

Total local revenues and external grants at the end of November 2013 increased by JD595.9 million to JD5,111.6 million compared with JD4,515.8 million at the end of 2012.

The bulletin attributed the rise in local revenues to an increase by 160.9 million or 5.1 per cent in taxes, coupled with a JD47.7 million drop in non-tax income.

External grants amounted to JD579.4 million during the first 11 months of last year compared with JD96.6 million in the previous year.

Total expenditures recorded at the end of November 2013 rose by JD269.5 million to JD6,212.4 million compared with JD5,942.9 million last year.

The increase resulted from rise by JD70.1 million in current spending, accompanied by an increase by JD199.4 million in capital expenditures.

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