New York (CNN Business)The world’s already huge debt load smashed the record for the highest debt-to-GDP ratio before 2019 was even over.
In fact, it broke that record in the first nine months of last year. Global debt, which comprises borrowings from households, governments and companies, grew by $9 trillion to nearly $253 trillion during that period, according to the Institute of International Finance.
That puts the global debt-to-GDP ratio at 322%, narrowly surpassing 2016 as the highest level on record.
More than half of this enormous number was accumulated in developed markets, such as the United States and Europe, bringing their debt-to-GDP ratio to 383% overall.
There are plenty of culprits. Countries like New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway all have rising household debt levels, while the government debt-to-GDP ratios in the United States and Australia are at all-time highs.