Global Debt Skyrockets to $235 Trillion, With US and China Accounting for Half

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The world’s total debt has surged to a staggering $235 trillion, with the United States and China contributing a significant 50% of this total at $117.5 trillion combined. This data, revealed in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recent global debt update, indicates an alarming trend, with global debt now standing at 238% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The IMF emphasizes that developed nations, particularly China and the US, are the primary drivers behind this surge in global debt.

Key Points:

  • The IMF’s report highlights a $200 billion increase in global debt from 2021 to 2022, pushing it to 238% of the world’s GDP.
  • Developed nations, especially the US and China, are identified as the main contributors to the soaring global debt, accounting for a combined $117.5 trillion.
  • China holds the distinction of being the world’s largest contributor to non-financial corporate debt, with a significant 28% share globally.
  • Low-income developing countries have witnessed a troubling rise in debt levels over the past two decades, creating various challenges and vulnerabilities in their economies.

Analysis: The IMF’s report on the escalating global debt serves as a stark warning to policymakers worldwide. It emphasizes the need for immediate and decisive action to address debt vulnerabilities and reverse the concerning long-term debt trajectory. The IMF provides specific guidance for governments, urging them to monitor private sector debt meticulously and, for low-income developing countries, to enhance their capacity for collecting additional tax revenues. Additionally, a comprehensive approach, including fiscal discipline and debt restructuring where necessary, is recommended for countries with unsustainable debt burdens. Reducing debt loads can create fiscal space for new investments, ultimately fostering economic growth in the years ahead.


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