Peter Hoskin

Checking up on the UK’s debt crisis

Checking up on the UK's debt crisis
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Now this is engrossing in a grim kind of way.  It's the Economist's brand new Global Debt Comparison feature, and charts public debt for the entire world ($39.1 trillion dollars, at the moment), while also providing details for individual countries. 

If you want a sense of the debt crisis facing this country, then just click on the info for the UK across a few years.  In 2009, it's bad enough: the Economist has us in the highest debt group, with public debt at 79.6 percent of GDP. For what it's worth, that's slightly better ratio than, say, France (83.7 percent) or Germany (87.9 percent).  But by 2011, our public debt-GDP ratio has shot up to 112.5 percent, outstripping France (102.3 percent) and almost equal with Germany (115.8 percent). 

And it doesn't even account for Brown's off-balance sheet wheezes - which would push us into the basket case territory occupied by the likes of Italy, Iceland and Japan - nor this government's capacity to underestimate their borrowing forecasts.  Scary stuff.

Hat-tip: Danny Finkelstein