A new report by the International Institute of Finance (IIF) shows the world’s debt climbed by $7.5 trillion in the first six months of 2019 to a record high of over $250 trillion. It was driven by borrowings in the US and China.
The IIF said that “China and the US accounted for over 60 percent of the increase. Similarly, EM [Emerging Market] debt also hit a new record of $71.4 trillion (220 percent of GDP).”
According to the report, rising debt across the world has been a big concern for investors and economists. Record-low interest rates make it extremely easy for corporates and sovereigns to borrow more money.
“However, with diminishing scope for further monetary easing in many parts of the world, countries with high levels of government debt (Italy, Lebanon) – as well as those where government debt is growing rapidly (Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Greece) – may find it harder to turn to fiscal stimulus,” the IIF said.
The financial institute has also projected the global government debt to top $70 trillion, driven higher by the surge in US federal debt.
“The big increase in global debt over the past decade – over $70 trillion – has been driven mainly by governments and the non-financial corporate sector (each up by some $27 trillion). For mature markets, the rise has mainly been in general government debt (up $17 trillion to over $52 trillion). However, for emerging markets the bulk of the rise has been in non-financial corporate debt (up $20 trillion to over $30 trillion).”
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