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What primary balances are needed to stabilise debt ratios?

Public sector debt to GDP ratios are going to rise sharply and, in most cases, governments can tolerate this. But to retain the faith of financial markets, they might still need to make sure that debt is on a stable trajectory. For most, this is not a problem; with interest rates lower than GDP growth, they will in fact still be able to run small primary deficits. But in some countries, these deficits will still have to be smaller than the ones seen going into this crisis. Moreover, a notable few will need to run primary surpluses.

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