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Australia’s debt dilemma – a concern or a crisis?

In the latest in our budget explainer series, Mark Crosby explains debt and deficit and where Australia stands. Budget explainer: Debts and deficits, is Australia really the worst? Editions

Australia’s foreign debt problem. Last month, MacroBusiness published an article with several interesting charts showing the level of Australia’s net foreign debt – debt owed by individuals, households, corporates and the government to creditors outside of Australia.

So the RBA’s dilemma is leave things as they are and "households having decided that they had borrowed too much, might cut back consumption sharply, hurting the overall economy and employment." – putting more pressure on wages and debt servicing. Cut rates and they risk people taking on more debt and inflate the property bubble even more.

Australia has $1 trillion foreign debt. Should we be worried? Our foreign debt will grow and it already exceeds $1 trillion deficit. But that’s not necessarily bad, says Ross Gittins.

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As of 2016, Australia’s total personal debt is around $2 trillion and the average Australian household owes $250,000. This debt can be broken down into the following categories. Mortgages. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data analysed in the AMP.NATSEM report showed that mortgages for owner-occupier.

There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about the state of the Australian economy. There are two principal reasons.

Australia’s household debt crisis. In 2016, household debt reached a whopping aus $2 trillion or an average of $250,000 ( us $190,000) per household. The country’s gross domestic product in 2016 was just $1.62 trillion. Australia wins the shameful "second-highest debt-to- gdp ratio in the world" award.

Net government debt. Australia’s net government debt as percentage of GDP in the 2016-17 budget was estimated at 18.9% ($326.0 billion); much lower than most developed countries. The budget forecasted that net government debt would increase to $346.8 and $356.4 billion in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.

For a minority, a substantial minority, there is a crisis, and my concern is that we make sure we match any solutions that we create to those who are actually in crisis and not the majority who are.

Game theory does not concern itself with good and evil. This summer’s negotiations over raising the debt ceiling seemed to present Democrats and Republicans with a similar dilemma. failure to reach.

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