After the 2008 financial crisis and the longest and deepest global recession since World War II, it was widely expected that the world’s economies would deleverage. It has not happened. Instead, debt continues to grow in nearly all countries, in both absolute terms and relative to GDP. This creates fresh risks in some countries and limits growth prospects in many.
Debt continues to grow.
Since 2007, global debt has grown by $57 trillion, raising the ratio of debt to GDP by 17 percentage points.* Developing economies account for roughly half of the growth, and in many cases this reflects healthy financial deepening. In advanced economies, government debt has soared and private-sector deleveraging has been limited. Reducing government debt will require a wider range of solutions. Government debt has grown by $25 trillion since 2007, and will continue to rise in many countries, given current economic fundamentals. For the most highly indebted countries, implausibly large increases in real GDP growth or extremely deep reductions in fiscal deficits would be required to start deleveraging. A broader range of solutions for reducing government debt will need to be considered, including larger asset sales, one-time taxes, and more efficient debt restructuring programs.
Read more: Report McKinsey & Company