Global debt-to-GDP ratio at new high of 322%

The global debt-to-GDP ratio hit a new all-time high of over 322% in the third quarter of 2019 with total debt reaching close to $253 trillion, according to a new report from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Emerging market debt exceeded $72 trillion (223% of GDP) while debt in mature markets topped $180 trillion (383% of GDP) in Q3 2019.

The IIF report said global debt is set to grow faster in 2020 and is estimated to exceed $257 trillion by the end of Q1 2020, driven mainly by non-financial sector debt. 

“While borrowing costs remain very low, many countries are finding a debt-driven growth model increasingly difficult to maintain,” said Sonja Gibbs, managing director of global policy initiatives at the IIF.

“High and rising debt-to-GDP ratios are making debt service and refinancing more challenging, and the 2020s are likely to see a greater incidence of debt distress and restructuring.”

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Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.