Global government debt to keep rising in 2016: S&P

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States, China, Brazil and India are expected to keep world government debt rising this year, Standard and Poor’s said on Monday, despite a small reduction in the annual global borrowing bill.

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The rating agency released a new report saying the stock of global government debt was expected to rise 2 percent to $42.4 trillion, with new borrowing of $6.7 trillion set to continue to outstrip the amounts being repaid.

A number of major countries are behind the underlying trend.

U.S. borrowing is expected to increase 8 percent or $163 billion year-on-year, while world number two economy China is forecast to ramp its borrowing 18 percent or $51 billion.

The rise in China and in the likes of Brazil and India is set to drive year-on-year emerging market borrowing up 9.4 percent or $587 billion and lift the total EM total debt stock to $6.8 trillion by the end of the year.

S&P said it saw the biggest absolute increase in annual borrowing in Brazil, which it expects will borrow $14 billion more in 2016 an increase of 8 percent.

Poland and India are both forecast to see $12 billion increases which is an 38 percent rise for the former and 8 percent increase for the latter.

In contrast, Japan, the euro zone and others such as Canada, the UK, Mexico and Ukraine are expected to see year-on-year drops in headline borrowing numbers.

The euro zone is expected to see a near 6 percent drop, although its overall debt stock will also continue to creep up to just over 7 trillion euros as its countries borrow more than they repay.

Globally annual issuance is forecast to dip to $6.745 trillion from $6.899 trillion in 2015, though with $4.9 trillion maturing, the $1.7 trillion ‘net’ increase will keep the overall debt stock rising.

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(Corrects year in paragraph six to 2016 from 2015)

Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Ralph Boulton