2021 Update of the IMF Global Debt Database

The 2021 update of the IMF’s Global Debt Database documents the largest one-year debt surge after World War II. As countries were hit by the pandemic, global debt rose to $226 trillion, or 256 percent of GDP in 2020. Borrowing by governments accounted for slightly more than half of this increase, as global public debt jumped by 20 percent. The share of public debt in global debt reached new highs not seen in more than 50 years, reflecting a large cumulative increase since the global financial crisis. Private debt rose by 10 percent in 2020, partly reflecting the support of central banks and government. The rise in debt varied significantly across countries given very unequal capacity of governments and central banks to support households and businesses during the pandemic and a deep economic recession.

In a context of a still evolving pandemic, rising inflation, and record high public and private debt, the roundtable will discuss how countries can manage the elevated debt. The event will mark the launch of the 2021 update of the Global Debt Database on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

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