World Debt Hits Record $184 Trillion – IMF


Today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) updated its publicly available Global Debt Database (GDD) – a comprehensive dataset covering public and private debt for virtually the entire world (190 countries) dating back to the 1950s. Today’s update of the GDDoffers for the first time a glimpse of global debt developments up to 2017. By including both the sovereign and private sides of borrowing for the entire world, the GDD offers an unprecedented picture of global debt in the post-World War II era.

According to update, global debt has reached an all-time high of $184 trillion* in nominal terms or the equivalent of 225 percent of GDP in 2017. On average, the world’s debt now exceeds $86,000 per person—more than 2½ times the average income per-capita. The top three borrowers in the world (United States, China, and Japan) account for more than half of global debt, exceeding their share of global output.

*Note: The number is $2 trillion higher than the estimated number released during Fiscal Monitor press conference in October 2018, because it includes end-2017 data and includes the debts of several countries who had not previously reported their updated data

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.


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