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Public debt in emerging Asia creeps past 50% of GDP

Region opens fiscal taps, but borrowing could spell trouble in next slowdown

Emerging economies across Asia have long had a relatively low ratio of government debt to gross domestic product.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Government debt in emerging Asian economies hit 50% of gross domestic product in the third quarter of last year, according to estimates by the Institute of International Finance, in a trend that suggests a regional shift away from fiscal conservatism.

Further increases in public debt, however, point to potential problems if the global economy takes a sudden turn for the worse. The next two years could be precarious, with some economists predicting slower growth.

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