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Global debt above pre-pandemic level in 2021: IMF

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Dec 13, 2022 - 03:34 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Global debt remained above the pre-pandemic level in 2021 despite posting its steepest decline in 70 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a statement on Monday.

Total public and private debt decreased in 2021 to the equivalent of 247% of global gross domestic product (GDP), falling by 10 percentage points from its peak level in 2020, the IMF said, according to the latest update of Global Debt Database.

However, global debt continued to rise in dollar terms, although at a much slower rate, reaching a record-high level of $235 trillion in 2021.

“Private debt, which includes non-financial corporate and household obligations, drove the overall reduction, decreasing by 6 percentage points to 153 percent of GDP,” the statement said.

“The decline of 4 percentage points for public debt, to 96 percent of GDP, was the largest such drop in decades, our database shows,” it added.

The IMF said large changes in debt ratios are caused by the economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and the following sudden rise in inflation levels.

Global debt, nevertheless, remained nearly 19% above global GDP, compared to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2021, according to the IMF.

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