In the first quarter of 2023, Nicaragua’s external debt stood at US$14.831 billion, equivalent to 94.6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) of US$15.671 billion, as per the Nicaraguan Central Bank.
The debt was split between the public sector, accounting for US$8.216 billion (55.4% of the total), and the private sector, with a debt of US$6.615 billion (44.6%).
Compared to 2022, the total external debt decreased by US$78.8 million, primarily due to a reduction of US$172.1 million in private external debt.
This decline was partially offset by an increase of US$93.3 million in public external debt.
The first quarter of 2023 saw loan disbursements amounting to US$556.5 million, with 72.9% originating from private creditors and the remainder from official bilateral creditors.
Of these disbursements, US$415.7 million was allocated to the private sector and US$140.8 million to the public sector.
These external disbursements were distributed across various economic sectors, with trade (36%) receiving the most, followed by financial intermediation (20.1%), construction (18.9%), mining (7.5%), electricity, gas and water (5.2%), manufacturing industry (4.9%), and public administration (3.7%).
The external debt service for the first quarter of 2023 totaled US$772.1 million, comprising US$692.2 million in principal payments and US$79.9 million in interest and commissions.
Most of the debt service paid (83.9%) pertained to the private sector, with the remaining 16.1% attributed to the public sector.