OECD Report: USA Is Among World’s Top Debtor Nations

Rudy Takala | July 6, 2015 | 5:43pm EDT
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(AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The United States is running a larger debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio than a majority of the world’s advanced economies, according to a new report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


America’s debt increased from nearly 76 percent of annual GDP in 2007 to 122.5 percent in 2014, according to the report. That’s the sixth highest debt load of any OECD member country included in the 2014 figures.


Although data for Japan was not included in the 2014 report, that Asian country led the list in 2013, with debt representing 239 percent of its GDP - more than twice the average 109 percent debt-to-GDP in the other OECD nations.


The five most in-debt nations in 2014 were Greece, with its debt representing 181 percent of its GDP; Italy, at 156 percent; Portugal, at 149.5 percent; Belgium, at nearly 130 percent; and Ireland, at nearly 128 percent.


Estonia held the lowest amount of debt of all OECD countries in 2014, representing just 14 percent of its GDP. Russia placed second to last, with its debt representing nearly 18 percent of its GDP.



The U.S. also ran one of the top budget deficits of OECD members in 2013, placing seventh overall.


Federal, state, and local governments ran deficits that represented 5.5 percent of GDP. In comparison, Slovenia was  first with a deficit of 14.5 percent of GDP, while Greece placed second with 12 percent.


Norway budgeted the best, running a surplus of 11 percent, followed by South Korea with a 1.3 percent surplus.


The report, which is produced by the OECD’s Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate (GOV), looked at the 34 OECD countries in addition to eight other major economies. Those included Colombia, Latvia, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, none of which are OECD members.


According to its authors, the report “seeks to help governments at all levels design and implement strategic, evidence-based and innovative policies to strengthen public governance.”


(See oecd_debt_to_gdp.xls)


(See debt_to_gdp_graph_oecd.pdf)

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