BELGRADE – Serbia’s external debt amounted to EUR 26.7 billion in late February, which is an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the previous month, it has been published in the latest newsletter of Belgrade’s Marketing Research Institute (IZIT).
The country’s external debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 89 percent and exceeds the level of 80 percent of GDP which is an indicator of high indebtedness. Such movement of the total external debt was expected, since securities were issued in February on both domestic and foreign markets to collect EUR 1.7 billion.
Disbursements of loans for infrastructure projects will further increase the debt as well. Somewhat mitigating circumstance is that the international financial market now offers more favorable budget loans than before, thus making it possible for unfavorable debts to be paid off with new loans.
The external debt of the public sector slightly exceeded EUR 13.3 billion in late February, recording a 9.4 percent increase in relation to December 2012.
On a monthly basis, the public sector’s foreign debt has increased by as much as 11.4 percent, which shows that the sector’s further borrowing would be the main driver of growth in the country’s external debt.
External debt of the private sector totaled about EU 13.4 billion in late February, reflecting a 0.3 percent drop on a monthly basis and a 1.2 percent drop when compared to late December 2012.
Thus the total external debt of the private sector equaled the one of the public sector. The public sector’s foreign debt accounted for 49.9 percent of Serbia’s overall external debt in February, while the private sector’s debt accounted for 50.1 percent, IZIT has published.