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How Indebted Rich Countries Will Be In 2014

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The good, the bad and the ugly

THE government debt of the ten richest countries attending the G20 summits will hit 114% of GDP by 2014, up from 78% in 2007, according to a new IMF study. To measure how much fiscal pain would be required to bring gross debt ratios to a sustainable level, the IMF looked at demographic pressures and assumed that long-term interest rates exceed economic growth rates by a percentage point (the long-term pre-crisis average) and then calculated by how much primary budget balances would have to improve. The economists define this level as 60% or, for Japan, half of today’s figure (ie, 85%). Their results suggest that Ireland and Japan have most to do. Both would need to boost their primary balances by more than 12% of GDP, compared with what is forecast for 2014. Britain would need an improvement of close to 6%. The gap in America is 3.5% and in Germany just under 2%.


Boost primary balances with what? Yep, you know.

Get yourself out of debt.

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