Fiscal consolidation continued in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018. The fiscal position in Latin America improved, reflecting cuts in primary spending, mainly through capital expenditures. Despite this adjustment, gross public debt is trending upward in Latin America with rises occurring in several countries. Conversely, the Caribbean countries continue to generate primary surpluses —driven, in 2018, by higher public revenues— and have thus succeeded in reducing their gross public debt levels, which nevertheless remain high.
Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019 examines the role of tax policy as a tool for driving progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. One way to strengthen collection is to address the challenges of taxing the rapidly growing digital economy. Tax policy can also be used to shift production and consumption patterns to encourage decarbonization of the economy and support improvements in public health. Lastly, the document analyses the constraints on domestic resource mobilization caused by fiscal incentives and how, effectively geared towards investment, these incentives could instead foster sustainable and inclusive development.