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Blog - The 17 countries with the highest levels of public debt

LONDON — The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Survey examines the financial health and risks of countries around the world.

While Britain’s public debt is the cause of constant debate and concern for policy-makers and politicians, the ranking shows that Britain is not even among the top 10 countries with the highest levels of borrowing.

In fact, debt-to-GDP ratios around the world have increased in recent years as governments take advantage of historically low interest rates to pile up cheap debt before rates inevitably begin to rise.

Here are the 17 countries with the highest level of government debt.
17. Egypt — 97.1%. Following a period of economic turmoil after Egypt’s Arab Spring, the Central Bank of Egypt announced in April this year that the country’s public debt has increased significantly, a figure which is being driven up in a vicious circle driven by the current budget deficit.
16. Spain — 99.3%. Spain’s troubled economy is blighted by a 17.1% unemployment rate and one of the highest levels of public debt in Europe.
15. Mauritania — 99.6%. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a huge country with a tiny population of 4.3 million located in Northwest Africa. The IMF said in 2016 that its high level of public debt was linked to a 30% decline in the price of iron ore, which accounts for nearly 50% of its exports.
Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz attends a signing ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 14, 2015.REUTERS/Lintao Zhang
14. Belgium — 105.5%. In November, the European Commission singled out six EU countries as being on course to breach Eurozone regulations on government deficit, of which Belgium was one.
14. Belgium — 105.5%. In November, the European Commission singled out six EU countries as being on course to breach Eurozone regulations on government deficit, of which Belgium was one.
A Union Jack flag is lowered at half-mast in honor of the victims of the Manchester attack, outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium May 23, 2017.Reuters/Francois Lenoir
13. United States — 107.4%. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said in November that she was “very worried about the sustainability of the US debt trajectory.” US President Donald Trump is currently trying to push through a tax reform package which could result in up to $1.5 trillion (£1.1 trillion) in lost revenue over a decade.
12. Cyprus — 108%. Cyprus was forced to seek a €10 billion (£8.81 billion) rescue package following the eurozone crisis in 2013 and 2014, which sent public debt levels soaring. Its economy appears to be returning to health, with the public debt to GDP ratio falling faster than IMF forecasts.

source:http://uk.businessinsider.com/wef-countries-with-highest-level-of-public-debt-to-gdp-2017-11/#11-bhutan-1102-there-is-growing-alarm-around-the-accumulation-of-public-debt-in-the-landlocked-south-asian-country-but-a-july-report-from-the-world-bank-said-its-debt-sustainability-analysis-does-not-suggest-an-immediate-risk-of-a-debt-crisis-7