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Rising Australian debt bucks global trend

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

The International Monetary Fund has singled out Australia as one of few countries where debt is increasing and bucking the global trend.

In its latest Fiscal Monitor, the IMF says after the global financial crisis, government debt in advanced economies rose rapidly, while private debt reached a turning point in 2012.

The largest reductions since were posted by those countries that entered the crisis with high debt levels.

"In some cases, however, private debt has continued to accumulate at a fast pace - notably, Australia, Canada and Singapore," it said in the report released in Washington on Wednesday."

More broadly, at a staggering 225 per cent of world GDP, non-financial sector global debt is at an all-time high.

This includes debt held by general government, households and non-financial firms.

Two-thirds, amounting to about $US100 trillion ($A131 trillion), consists of liabilities of the private sector which can carry great risks when they reach excessive levels, it warns.

"Resolving the 'private debt overhang' is ... not easy in the current global environment of low nominal growth," the IMF admits.

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