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As Global Debt Hits A Record $247 Trillion, The IIF Issues A Warning

Every quarter the Institute of International Finance publishes a new number of the total amount of global debt outstanding, and every quarter the result is the same: a new record high

Today was no exception: according to the IIF’s latest Global Debt Monitor, the amount of debt held in the world rose by the biggest amount in two years during the first quarter of 2018, when it grew by $8 trillion to hit a new all time high of $247 trillion, up from $238 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2017 and up from by $30 trillion from the end of 2016.

In other words, there is now a quarter quadrillion dollars in global debt, and it represents 318% of global GDP. More concerning is that this was the first time since Q3 2016 that global debt to GDP increased, suggesting that the marginal utility of debt is once again below 1.

This is how the debt is broken down as of Q1 2018 and compared to Q1 2013:

  • Non-financial corporate debt: $74 trillion, up from $58 trillion in 5 years
  • Government debt: $67 trillion, up from $56 trillion
  • Financial debt: $61 trillion, up from $56 trillion
  • Household debt: $47 trillion, up from $40 trillion

And visually:

Some more details from the report, via Bloomberg:

  • The government debt-to-GDP ratio has surged to 101 percent in the U.S.
  • Non-financial corporate debt is now at record highs in Canada, France and Switzerland
  • Household indebtedness in China, Chile and Colombia grew over 3% since Q1 2017, topping 49%, 46% and 30%, respectively.

What was surprising about the report – certainly not the latest all time high debt numbers, those are now standard – is that the IIF voiced a strongly negative opinion of recent developments in the debt arena.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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