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Brazil government debt

This page is about general government (i.e. including state and local) gross debt (all debt owed by the treasury at each level). The main question is whether the country's finances are sustainable in the longer term.

Summary

17 Jun 2013.

Brazil's government debt level is not too high by modern developed nation standards, but is nevertheless substantial, standing at about 68% of GDP, and is growing rapidly. Lula greatly increased unfunded liabilities (in, for example, pensions), so the debt level bears watching over the next few years.

Graph

17 Jun 2013. Data through end 2012.

Highlights

See gross_and_net_government_debt for definitions. Counting “general government” (including states) debt avoids the mistake often made with Spain, of ignoring high regional debt. Counting gross rather than net debt avoids the mistake of counting the assets of peripheral entities like pension funds, without also including their liabilities. This is the best simple measure of government solvency, but a more thorough study would also evaluate unfunded liabilities of government retirement and healthcare systems.

Sources

Data are from the IMF via the Fred system at the St. Louis Fed. The graph is generated by Fred.

See also