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Global Debt Reaches $235 Trillion, With China and the US Leading the Way, Says IMF Report

The increase in global debt, reaching $235 trillion in 2022 with China and the US lead, and its implications for the world economy.

China and the Us Shoulder Half of Global Debt at $235 Trillion. (Photo: Daily Times Nigeria)

Global Debt Hits Record $235 Trillion in 2022, China and the US Account for Half

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently revealed that the world’s debt has ballooned to a staggering $235 trillion in 2022, reaching 238 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) reported last year.

The IMF report, titled “Global Debt Is Returning to its Rising Trend,” dated September 13, 2023, but made public on Thursday, underscores that the United States and China together hold a significant chunk of this debt, accounting for a whopping $117.5 trillion. This staggering sum represents a substantial 50 percent of the world’s total debt.

While there has been a slight reduction in global debt for the second consecutive year, it remains significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, the world’s total debt amounted to 238 percent of the global GDP, marking a 9 percentage point increase compared to 2019. This translated into a colossal $235 trillion debt burden, which was $200 billion higher than the previous year.

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China and the US Lead Global Debt Surge

As indicated in the article of Ripples Nigeria, China’s total debt is estimated at $47.5 trillion, while the United States carries a debt load nearing $70 trillion, based on the IMF’s findings.

The report also points out that even before the pandemic, global debt-to-GDP ratios had been on an upward trajectory for decades. Public debt worldwide had tripled since the mid-1970s, reaching 92 percent of GDP, equivalent to slightly above $91 trillion, by the end of 2022. Additionally, private debt had also tripled, accounting for 146 percent of GDP, or nearly $144 trillion, over a more extended period from 1960 to 2022.

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