According to the International Monetary Fund, global debt has reached a record high of $184 trillion in nominal terms. That’s the equivalent of 225 percent of the world Gross Domestic Product in 2017. The debt figure is $2 trillion higher than the estimated number released by the Fund in October, because it includes the debts of several countries who had not previously reported their updated data.
The world’s debt therefore currently exceeds $86,000 per person on average. The US, China, and Japan are the top three global borrowers, accounting for more than half of the global debt. The IMF has calculated that their share of debt exceeds that of output. It stated that the emergence of China among the top ranking is, however, a relatively new development. Since the beginning of the millennium, China’s share in global debt surged from less than three percent to over 15 percent, underscoring the rapid credit surge in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.