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World Debt: Overall Picture

Sunday, 16 November 2014 18:12
World Debt: Overall Picture

The debt load of world economy is increasing. Perhaps the problems in Greece and Cyprus are just the beginning of the international trend.

Furthermore national debt obligations can, like a snowball, destroy everything on their way in the nearest future. These are the conclusions of the research carried out by the World Organization of Creditors (WOC).

The world national debt keeps increasing and, according to the latest evaluations, countries are finding it harder and harder not even to decrease its amount but to at least stabilize it, says the research. According to the preliminary results of 2012, the total debt of all countries in the world is over $55 trillion. The bigger part of the amount (75%) is the debt of only seven developed world economies – the G7 countries. During the previous year they didn’t only lighten the situation but also increased their debt by 5%. The overall debt amount of developed countries increased by 12% and is now 110% of their total GDP.

In the developing countries the situation is not so critical: during 2012 the total amount of national debts increased by 1% and is 34% of GDP. The biggest increase is in the countries of Middle East and North Africa where national debts increased by 5%. In other countries the increase is 1–2% of the previous year’s level.

World debt table of key world regions


Regions

 Public debt, $ billion, 2012

Public debt, $ billion, 2011

Change

Public debt/GDP, 2012

Developed countries

46539

41715

12%

110%

G7

42261

40398

5%

129%

European Union

14316

14458

-1%

89%

Developing countries

9329

9234

1%

34%

Asia

4114

4017

2%

32%

Latin America and the Caribbean islands

2812

2817

0%

49%

Middle East and North Africa

798

757

5%

27%

CIS

362

357

1%

14%

 

Sources: WOC, IMF, CIA.

 

Leaders haven’t changed

If we look at all countries in total, no particular changes in the leader board have taken place. First two positions are occupied by the USA and Japan with $16 billion and $14 billion accordingly. Thus more than a half of sovereign debt accrues on these two counties. They are followed by the countries whose debt is between $1 billion and $3 billion. After Japan whose national debt is almost 3 times bigger than its GDP, the country with the most difficult situation is Italy. According to the results f 2012, the sovereign debt compared to GDP was 126%. However, experts remark that the situation in this country is more stable than in the case of its south European neighbors as national obligations have long repayment periods and they mostly belong to inside investors.

At the same time the biggest increase percentage among the mentioned countries is observed in Kazakhstan. The index on this country increased by more than a third (+32%) ranking up Kazakhstan to the 58th position in the overall rating of national debt amount. The largest increase among the developed countries was noticed in Spain and Australia. According to the results of 2012, the debt in these countries increased by 23% and 19% accordingly.

China keeps reducing its national debt, at a very slow pace though. According to the results of 2012, their debt amount decreased by 6%. And the previous year the country repaid 5% more of their debts. The national debt of Greece reduced by 8% which can be explained by writing-offs that were made by creditors in 2012. Financial obligations of Hungary also decreased – 15% reduction has brought it to the 42nd position in the common rating.

Public debt rating in the world

Position in 2012

Position in 2011

Country

Public debt, $ billion, 2012

Public debt, $ billion, 2011

Change

Public debt/GDP, 2012

1

1

USA

16730,5

15536,3

8%

107%

2

2

Japan

14148,9

13476,9

5%

237%

3

3

Germany

2888,7

2881,5

0,3%

83%

4

4

Italy

2611,2

2640,7

-1%

126%

5

5

France

2440,0

2387,9

2%

90%

6

6

Great Britain

2175,1

1977,4

10%

89%

7

7

China

1770,9

1886,1

-6%

22%

8

9

Canada

1579,3

1483,8

6%

88%

9

8

Brazil

1569,7

1619,0

-3%

64%

10

11

Spain

1267,7

1032,3

23%

91%

11

10

India

1202,6

1123,0

7%

68%

12

12

Netherlands

547,0

547,6

-0,1%

68%

13

13

Mexico

520,3

506,3

3%

43%

14

14

Belgium

492,0

502,1

-2%

99%

15

15

Greece

462,9

501,3

-8%

171%

           

26

25

Russia

222,9

221,3

1%

11%

Sources: WOC, IMF, CIA.

A debt for each

As to the public debt per citizen, Japan still holds leading positions. The debt is $110 thousand per each citizen of the country. The consequences of tsunami and the accident on the A-plant in Fukushima will affect the economy of the country of the rising sun for a long time.

After Japan comes Ireland ($53,9 thousand per citizen) which is closely followed by Singapore and the USA. In these countries the public debt is $53 thousand per citizen.

At the same time, Qatar citizens are experiencing an increasing load: now the debt is $37 thousand for each which is 19% higher than a year earlier.

In Russia, the public debt is pretty stable. According to the results of 2012, its amount increased by 1% and does not succeed 11% of GDP level. As to the debt per citizen, it is a bit more than $1,5 thousand.

Public debt per citizen rating in the world

 

Position

Country

Public debt per citizen, $, 2012

Public debt per citizen, $, 2011

Change

1

Japan

110875,1

105373,8

5,2%

2

Ireland

53992,8

50585,1

6,7%

3

Singapore

53435,9

52994,6

0,8%

4

USA

53229,0

49804,4

6,9%

5

Norway

49438,7

48246,3

2,5%

6

Canada

45347,6

43086,6

5,2%

7

Belgium

44549,8

45854,0

-2,8%

8

Italy

42879,6

43557,5

-1,6%

9

Greece

41313,1

44783,4

-7,7%

10

France

38474,8

37827,0

1,7%

11

Katar

37506,5

31793,9

18%

12

Switzerland

36240,8

37446,2

-3,2%

13

Austria

36035,6

35992,4

0,1%

14

Germany

35323,3

35234,9

0,3%

15

Great Britain

34490,5

31565,3

9,3%

       

47

Russia

1570,8

1554,1

1,1%

51

China

1308,1

1399,8

-6,6%

Sources: WOC, IMF, CIA.

 

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