April 18, 2018

High debt makes governments’ financing vulnerable to sudden changes in market sentiment 

Global debt hit a new record high of $164 trillion in 2016, the equivalent of 225 percent of global GDP. Both private and public debt have surged over the past decade. High debt makes government’s financing vulnerable to sudden changes in market sentiment. It also limits a government’s ability to provide support to the economy in the event of a downturn or a financial crisis.

Countries should use the window of opportunity afforded by the economic upswing to strengthen the state of their fiscal affairs. The April 2018 Fiscal Monitor explores how countries can reduce government deficits and debt in a growth-friendly way.

High government debt is a concern

Of the $164 trillion, 63 percent is nonfinancial private sector debt, and 37 percent is public sector debt. Advanced economies are responsible for most global debt. Nevertheless, in the last ten years, emerging market economies have been responsible for most of the increase. China alone contributed 43 percent to the increase in global debt since 2007. In contrast, the contribution from low income developing countries is barely noticeable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »