Addicted but not alone

We Canadians shouldn’t feel alone when it comes to our debt addiction.

The global debt-to-GDP ratio hit an all-time high of 322 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, according to a report released Monday by the Institute of International Finance.

Debt rose by almost US$10 trillion to US$252.6 trillion from a year earlier, said the Washington-based IIF, which is comprised of the world’s leading financial institutions. Debt from all sectors — ranging from household to government to corporate bonds — surged.

Emerging market debt grew to US$72.5 trillion from US$66.1 trillion in the third quarter of 2018, according to the IIF, driven in large part by a jump in non-financial corporate borrowing. More than US$19 trillion of syndicated loans and bonds will mature this year, with almost a third of that coming from emerging markets.

Massive amounts of maturities globally in and around the same time always makes for interesting times in both international and domestic debt markets. We will be watching closely for the ripple effects on Canadian credit markets in 2020.