LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Global debt levels soared to a record high of $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said on Thursday, though it noted that robust economic growth meant debt-to-GDP ratios were declining.
The Washington DC-based financial industry body said while total debt had risen by $16 trillion in the third quarter compared to end-2016, debt ratio to global gross domestic product (GDP) had fallen for the fourth quarter in a row as the world economy expanded.
It was referring to total debt incurred by the household, government, financial and non-financial corporate sectors.
However, China which has accounted for the lion’s share of new debt in emerging markets, saw the pace of debt accumulation slow; debt rose by two percentage points last year to 294 percent of GDP, compared to an average annual increase of 17 percentage points in the 2012-2016 period.
The IIF warned however, of “heavy emerging market redemptions” noting that over $1.5 trillion of bonds and syndicated loans would be maturing through end-2018. China, Russia, Korea and Brazil had heavy dollar-debt repayment schedule this year, it added. (Reporting by Sujata Rao, editing by Karin Strohecker)