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Debt Sustainability Analysis

Debt Sustainability Analysis for Market-Access Countries

Last Updated: February 19, 2021

In 2021, the  Executive Board approved a new framework for debt sustainability for market access countries.  Questions and Answers on the new Sovereign Risk and Debt Sustainability Framework for Market Access Countries can be found here.The new framework is due to become operational at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. Until then the current framework will be in use.

The framework for public debt sustainability analysis for advanced and emerging market economies was reformed in 2011 and guidance to staff on the implementation of the new framework was introduced in May 2013. A new public DSA template was published in March 2014.

The assessment of external debt sustainability continues to be anchored by the framework introduced in June 2002 (see "Assessing Sustainability"). This framework was subsequently refined in June 2003 and July 2005 (see "Sustainability Assessments-Review of Application and Methodological Refinements" and Information Note On Modifications To The Fund's Debt Sustainability Assessment Framework For Market-Access Countries).


The Fund’s approach to debt sustainability analysis differentiate between market-access countries (MACs), that typically have significant access to international capital markets, and low-income countries (LICs), which meet their external financings needs mostly through concessional resources. The assessments of public and external debt sustainability are conducted in the context of both IMF program design and reviews, and Article IV surveillance. The assessments are performed through standardized templates.