trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/fWcfRusr8Pyx1gr8rtms4g2 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform


Looking for more?

Contact Us

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

Thank you for your interest in S&P Global Market Intelligence! We noticed you've identified yourself as a student. Through existing partnerships with academic institutions around the globe, it's likely you already have access to our resources. Please contact your professors, library, or administrative staff to receive your student login.

At this time we are unable to offer free trials or product demonstrations directly to students. If you discover that our solutions are not available to you, we encourage you to advocate at your university for a best-in-class learning experience that will help you long after you've completed your degree. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In This List

Emerging markets face crisis risk from $55 trillion debt 'wave,' World Bank says

Street Talk - Ep. 64: Coronavirus jumpstarts digital adoption

Street Talk Podcast

Street Talk - Ep. 63: Deal talks continue amid bank M&A freeze, setting up for strong Q4

Street Talk Podcast

Street Talk - Ep. 62: 'Brutal' outlook for oil demand offers banks in oil patch no relief

Amid Q1 APAC Fintech Funding Slump, Payment Companies Drove Investments

Emerging markets face crisis risk from $55 trillion debt 'wave,' World Bank says

Developing countries are facing a surge of debt in the tens of trillions of dollars, heightening the risk of financial crises that weaken per capita income and investment in poor countries, according to a World Bank Group study.

In 2018, total debt in emerging and developing economies reached $55 trillion, capping an eight-year surge in government and private borrowing that the World Bank called "the largest, fastest, and most broad-based in nearly five decades."

The average debt-to-GDP ratio among developing countries stands at to 168%, up 54 percentage points since 2010, when the latest debt surge began forming. The study, released Dec. 19, noted that this pace of debt accumulation was almost three times faster than during the Latin American debt crisis in the 1970s.

While the report indicated that historically low global interest rates have mitigated the risk of a worldwide debt crisis, the record of the past 50 years shows a correlation between rapid debt growth and financial crises. Since 1970, about 50% of 521 recorded cases of rapid debt growth in developing countries have been coupled with financial crises that lowered per capita income and investment levels.

"Policymakers should act promptly to enhance debt sustainability and reduce exposure to economic shocks," said Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, World Bank Group vice president for equitable growth, finance and institutions.

The report studied four major "waves" of debt in more than 100 countries since 1970 and found that the latest wave was different from the previous ones due to the simultaneous buildup of both public and private debt, the involvement of new types of creditors, and the occurrence of the debt buildup outside one or two limited regions.

The World Bank said the characteristics of the latest debt wave pose new challenges for policymakers, who now have to deal with nonresident investors holding significant amounts of government debt in emerging and developing economies under terms that do not provide for concessions and debt relief.

World Bank Group President David Malpass said the size, speed and breadth of the latest debt wave should be a concern for governments around the world.

"It underscores why debt management and transparency need to be top priorities for policymakers — so they can increase growth and investment and ensure that the debt they take on contributes to better development outcomes for the people," Malpass said.