Borrowing is back, big-time. Global debt grew by $3 trillion in the first quarter of the year to reach $246.5 trillion total, according to a report by the Institute of International Finance cited by Axios. Lower interest rates and increased government spending have driven the growth.
“Countries had been reducing their debt burdens since the beginning of 2018, when global debt reached its highest level on record, $248 trillion,” Axios’s Dion Rabouin says. “But Q1's major uptick brought it to nearly 320% of the world's GDP, also near the all-time high, according to IIF's data.”
In the U.S., total debt reached a new high at more than $69 trillion. Federal government debt now represents more than 100% of gross domestic product. But over the past year, Finland, Canada and Japan have experienced the largest increases in debt-to-GDP ratios of all countries IIF tracks.