Global debt rose by over $3 trillion in the first quarter of this year to reach $246 trillion spurred by falling interest rates, according to the U.S.-based Institute of International Finance.
"... helped by the substantial easing in financial conditions, borrowers took on debt in first quarter of 2019 at the fastest pace in over a year," the report said on late Monday.
The debt was 320% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first three months of this year, it noted.
The report underlined that the figure was $2 trillion away from the all-time high of $248 trillion reached in the same period last year.
Total debt in mature markets rose by $1.6 trillion to nearly $177 trillion as of March-end.
The U.S. debt hit a new peak of $69 trillion in first quarter, due to rise in government debt, it highlighted.
Debt of emerging markets (EM) hit a record high of $69 trillion -- 216% GDP, the report added.
China constituted some 15% of global debt, according to the report.
"While authorities’ efforts to curb shadow bank lending (particularly to SMEs) have prompted a cutback in non-financial corporate debt, net borrowing in other sectors has brought China’s total debt to over $40 trillion," it said.
By Tuba Sahin