World debt

Another decade of world debt

The world is looking at a debt crisis that will span the rest of this decade and well into the next

$307.4 trillion of world debt!

It’s not going to end well; economists warn with global borrowings hitting a record of $307.4 trillion in September 2023.

Debt at this level is unsustainable.

Both emerging markets and high-income countries have seen a substantial rise in their debt levels. These levels have grown by a some $100 trillion from 10 years ago. The debt has been fueled in part by a higher interest rate environment. 

Initially, with borrowing costs at historic lows, countries have benefitted from very low interest rate for the debt. That’s changed.

The next 10 years will likely become known as the ‘Decade of Debt.’

Debt globally is coming to a head.

As a share of the global gross domestic product, debt has risen to 336%This compares to an average debt-to-GDP ratio of 110% in 2012 for advanced economies, and 35% for emerging economies. It was 334% in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the most recent global debt monitor report by the Institute of International Finance.

To meet debt payments, it is estimated that around 100 countries will have to cut spending on critical infrastructure including health, education and social projects.

Countries that manage to improve their fiscal situation could benefit by attracting capital, labour and investment. However, those that do not could lose talent and revenue and further increase their debt burden.

$307.4 trillion of world debt, and counting!

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