After the presentation of Economic Package 2023which proposes a payment of 1.1 trillion pesos only for the financial cost of the debt, criticism has arisen that, during this six-year term, the public debt has continued to rise, at a slower rate than in other administrations, but still contradicts the President López Obrador’s promise that no more debt would be contracted during his six-year term.
But, how much has the debt risen so far in the six-year term? One of his main political opponents mentions an amount, but we will contrast it with what the official figures say.
The former candidate for the presidency of the Republic in 2018, Ricardo Anaya, affirmed this week that, during the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s public debt has increased by almost two trillion (millions of millions) of pesos,
According to a video broadcast on her social networks, Anaya Cortés pointed out that the Historical Balance of the Financial Requirements of the Public Sector, that is, the broadest definition of public debt, went from 10.5 billion pesos in 2018 to 12.4 billion pesos in June 2022that is, almost two billion pesos more in three and a half years.
Likewise, he indicated that, in 2023, the government will pay only for the financial cost of debt, that is, the payment of interest, more than one billion pesos, equivalent to 366 presidential planes like the one that President López Obrador has tried to sell, or give 5,000 pesos a month for a year to half of the families in the country.
“The government is taking on more debt and wasting your money. They are lying to us and they are going to lead us to ruin,” added Anaya Cortés.
How much has public debt increased?
To find out how much the public debt currently amounts to and how it has evolved in recent years, statistics from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) were consulted.
According to data from the agency, the Historical Balance of the Financial Requirements of the Public Sector in December 2018, when López Obrador took office as president, was 10 billion 551 thousand 718 million pesos (mp). While, in June 2022, the balance was 13 billion 246 thousand 123 million pesos, that is. 2.6 billion more than at the beginning of his term and 600 billion pesos more than the figure claimed by his political opponent.
How is public debt measured in Mexico?
Public debt refers to the financial obligations contracted by a government, a federal public administration body or any company or state body. Public debt can be divided into internal or external. The first is the one that is contracted in national currency, in this case, Mexican pesos, and the second is the one denominated in foreign currency, it can be dollars or another currency.
The broadest measure of public debt in Mexico is the Historical Balance of the Financial Requirements of the Public Sector (SHRFSP), since it contains the debt of the federal government, public entities and companies, development banks, funds, trusts, IPAB liabilities, etc.
The most updated figure of the SHRFSP is from July 2022, and amounts to 13 billion 376 thousand 85 million pesos, according to the SHCP. If compared to July 2021, this increased by 7.07%.
And if it were compared with July 2018, that is, four years ago, the SHRFSP has increased by 33%, that is, 3.3 billion pesos more.
How much has the government debt with AMLO increased?
The federal government’s debt represents more than half of the SHRFSP, and it is the one directly contracted by the federal public administration.
In December 2018, when the López Obrador administration began, the federal government’s debt was 6 billion 695 thousand 127 million pesos (mp), while as of July 2022 it rose to 8 billion 498 thousand 739 million pesos. That is, 1.8 billion pesos more. It increased 27% in 31 months.
How does the increase in this debt compare with that of the Peña Nieto government?
Analyzing the first 31 months of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, we found that, as of December 2013, the federal government debt was 3 trillion 967 thousand 636 million pesos, while as of July 2018 it was 5 billion 890 thousand 108 million pesos, 48% more. That is to say, with Peña Nieto the debt rose at a rate almost twice as high as in the same period as López Obrador.
Francisco Mucino Journalist. Public finance, energy, business, innovation and the stories they contain.