Guatemala’s low government debt

Some countries decide not to fund social programs or social investments so they don’t accumulate too much debt. But Guatemala has one of the lowest debt burdens in the region, so its low social spending and investment can’t be attributed to debt aversion. This chart, from the 2017 report “Consensus and conflict in Latin America’s fiscal policy” by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), shows that Guatemala’s debt is far below the Latin America’s average.

The following chart from the same report shows the amount of money a government has to borrow every year, in percent of GDP. The lower the number, the higher the percent of GDP that the government has to borrow. Guatemala borrows relatively little.