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Mexico: External Debt
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Macroeconomic Management > External Debt


By the early 1990s, Mexico's debt crisis had largely passed, although the country remained saddled with huge debts. Capital inflows were more than sufficient to service the debt through 1993 as portfolio and foreign direct investment reached unprecedented levels in response to liberalization and the successful negotiation of NAFTA. Despite the use of funds from privatization to retire old public-sector debt, total external debt continued to grow during the early 1990s as current account deficits soared after 1992.

After reaching a low of US$112 billion in 1992, Mexico's total external debt rose steadily thereafter, reaching an estimated US$158 billion in 1995. The large increase during 1995 in Mexico's total public indebtedness resulted in part from loans contracted in the wake of the new peso collapse of late 1994. In early 1995, the United States government made US$20 billion available to Mexico from the United States treasury department's Exchange Stabilization Fund, the Bank for International Settlements contributed US$10 billion, and the IMF offered US$8 billion in standby credit and US$10 billion of other funding.

In 1993 Mexico's total debt service amounted to US$21 billion, including US$14 billion in principal payments and US$7 billion in interest payments. Mexico's total external debt amounted to 356 percent of GDP in 1993.

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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