Australian Public Debt is 10 per cent of GDP in 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) director for Asia and the Pacific, Anoop Singh, says the fact that Australia’s fiscal position is weaker than earlier expected is not a concern because of the country’s low level of debt.

Speaking to a news conference in Singapore, Anoop Singh stated that the Australian public debt figure now stands at just 10 per cent of gross domestic product and is one of very few countries with a triple-A sovereign debt rating from the major agencies.

In the UK, a report in the Guardian stated: “UK Public sector net debt was £1,185.8bn at the end of March 2013, equivalent to 75.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).”

How do these two reports compare?

Australian “Public Debt” versus UK “Public sector net debt” … are they the same thing?

2012: Gross Government Debt for 2012 for the two countries, quoted by the IMF, were:

  • 27.07% Australia
  • 88.68% United Kingdom

The figure of 10% for 2013 is a bit confusing when looking at this chart of Australian Public Debt between 2004 and 2013, from Trading Economics.

However there is a difference between GROSS Debt and NET debt, and we have to know, and RECOGNISE, which one they are talking about, and never confuse the two.

Australian NET public debt at 10% and Australian GROSS public debt at about 27% both seem about right.

UK NET public debt at 75.4% and UK GROSS public debt at about 88.7% also then seems about right.



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