IMF: Global debt US$184 trillion

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Global public and private debt at the end of 2017 stood at a record US$184 trillion or 225% of the GDP of the 190 countries included in the report, the International Monetary Fund said.

“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,” the IMF said in a statement released together with the data.

This means that the average debt per person is US$86,000 or more than two and half times the average annual wage.

In a recent speech at the G20 summit in Argentina, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said rising global debt was one of the main challenges that world leaders had to address.

She said the fact that the total value of global debt has rocketed by 60 percent in the decade since the peak of the financial crisis was a worrying development. The rapid increase of debt has left both the governments and businesses of the developing world more vulnerable to higher U.S. interest rates, which in turn could trigger a flight of funds and destabilize their economies.

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