…Nigeria, South Africa highest debtors
…Portfolio equity inflows rise to $57bn
The World Bank has said that the International Debt Statistics (IDS) 2019 external debt stocks at end-2017 stood at over $7 trillion.
The IDS disclosed this at the weekend in its statistics and analysis on the external debt and financial flows (debt and equity) for the world’s economies for 2015.
This publication provides more than 200-time series indicators from 1970 to 2017 for most reporting countries.
This year’s edition is released just 10 months after the 2017 reference period, making comprehensive debt statistics available faster than ever before.
It presents comprehensive stock and flows data for individual countries and regional and analytical groupings.
In addition to the data published in multiple formats by the World Bank, IDS includes a concise analysis of the global debt landscape, which will be expanded on in a series of Debt Bulletin over the next year.
These data are produced as part of the World Bank’s work to monitor the creditworthiness of its clients and are widely used by others for analytical and operational purposes.
Recurrent debt crises, including the global financial crisis of 2008, highlight the importance of measuring and monitoring external debt stocks and flows and managing them sustainably.
According to the report, net financial inflows (borrowing and equity) to low- and middle-income countries rose 61 percent in 2017 to the highest level in three years, driven by a rebound in net debt inflows.
Net financial flows climbed to $1.1 trillion in 2017, a level was last seen in 2013.
The rebound in aggregate net financial flows was driven by net borrowing which rose to $607 billion in 2017 from $181 billion in 2016, surpassing net equity inflows for the first time since 2013.
A sharp rise in both long-term and short-term debt inflows contributed to the increase. Foreign direct equity investment (FDI) inflows, long considered the most stable and resilient component of otherwise volatile financial flows, contracted for the second consecutive year, falling a further 3 percent in 2017.
In contrast, portfolio equity inflows rose to $57 billion, an increase of 29 percent over 2016.
The total external debt of low- and middle-income countries rose 10 percent in 2017 to $7.1 trillion, a faster pace of debt accumulation than the 4 percent increase in 2016.
Regional level trends in external debt in 2017 accumulation varied. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa accumulated external debt at a faster pace than low- and middle-income countries in other regions in 2017:
The sub-Saharan Africa has a combined external debt stock rose 15.5 percent from the previous year to $535 billion.