IMF Cautions Nigeria, Others As World Debt Climbs $184tn
IMF boss, Christine Lagarde.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that global debt has gotten to $184trillion in nominal terms, according to a statement on Wednesday.

According to the IMF, this figure is 225 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, warning of “a legacy of excessive debt.”

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The IMF noted that Nigeria’s debt is 34 percent of the nominal GDP of $376bn as of December 2017, with private debt taking 36.6 percent of the debt.

“With financial conditions tightening in many countries, which includes rising interest rates, prospects for bringing debt down remain uncertain,” the IMF said.

“The high levels of corporate and government debt built up over years of easy global financial conditions constitute a potential fault line.

“So, as we close the first decade after the global financial crisis, the legacy of excessive debt still looms large.”

It added that “The most indebted economies in the world are also the richer ones. The top three borrowers in the world — the United States, China, and Japan — account for more than half of global debt, exceeding their share of global output.

“The private sector’s debt has tripled since 1950. This makes it the driving force behind global debt.

“Another change since the global financial crisis has been the rise in private debt in emerging markets, led by China, overtaking advanced economies.

“At the other end of the spectrum, private debt has remained very low in low-income developing countries.”

In addition, it said that “After a steady decline up to the mid-1970s, public debt has gone up since, with advanced economies at the helm and, of late, followed by emerging and low-income developing countries.

“For 2017, the signals are mixed. Compared to the previous peak in 2009, the world is now more than 11 percentage points of GDP deeper in debt.

“Nonetheless, in 2017 the global debt ratio fell by close to 1½ per cent of GDP compared to a year earlier.”