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Rising debt and deficits in Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) in 5 charts

Ayhan Kose's picture
Debt and budget deficits have risen among emerging market and developing economies since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, rendering these economies more vulnerable to a sharp rise in borrowing costs. Government debt has climbed to 47 percent of GDP in 2016 from 35 percent of GDP in 2007 among emerging market and developing economies, while fiscal deficits have widened to about 5 percent of GDP from roughly 1 percent of GDP over the same period. Although many emerging market and developing economies have strengthened their monetary policy frameworks and accumulated significant reserve buffers over the past two decades, they now need to shore up their fiscal positions to prevent sudden spikes in financing cost from forcing them into fiscal tightening.
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Government debt and deficits have risen since the 2007-2009 financial crisis in many emerging market and developing economies. The average deficit worsened to around 5 percent of GDP in 2016 from around 1 percent of GDP in 2007. 

Overall Fiscal Balance and Government Gross Debt in EMDEs 



The fiscal situation has particularly deteriorated among emerging market and developing economies when compared with advanced economies. The sustainability gap – a measure of the difference between the current fiscal balance and a debt-stabilizing balace – has weakened among emerging market and developing economies, on average, since the 2007-2009 financial crisis. 
 
Sustainability Gap


Fiscal deterioration has been particularly pronounced among the two-thirds of emerging market and developing economies that rely heavily on commodity exports.  In this figure, sustainability gap again refers to the difference between the current fiscal balance and a debt-stabilizing balance. 
 
Sustainability gap, by commodity exporter status


Fiscal sustainability gaps have deteriorated particularly sharply in regions that are home to many commodity exporting economies -- the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Fiscal Sustainability Gaps


 
The fiscal positions of energy-exporting emerging market and developing economies have deteriorated sharply since the plunge in oil prices in 2014. However, unlike past instances of a sharp drop in oil prices, the fiscal balances of energy exporting emerging market and developing economies have not recovered two years after the drop (“t” refers to the moment of the event). 
 
Overall fiscal balance

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