Debt World

Don't feel too bad about those credit cards you have to pay off, it can't be anywhere close to the $281 trillion of global debt that governments, companies, and households now owe

By the numbers: 

  • Global debt levels surged in 2020 by $24 trillion as the pandemic thrashed the economy.
     
  • That debt level is now at 355% of global GDP, a level previously thought untenable.
     
  • And there's more to come: governments are expected to load up on another $10 trillion of debt this year to boost pandemic recovery.
It's all about timing

It's going to take good timing and perfect balance to navigate smoothly out of this pandemic-driven debt load. Governments that ease up on spending too soon could crash their economies and make matters worse.

But keep the money taps on for too long and you could wind up with debt burdens that are too big to bear, particularly if and when interest rates rise.

Big picture: Canada's Federal government has committed to spending 3-4% of GDP to boost growth post-pandemic and inflation is only at 1% — well below the Bank of Canada's 2% target rate. Expect the Feds to keep their foot on the spending gas pedal as we head into a planned spring budget.