IMF Slams US Over National Public Debt

( – International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff members visit member countries annually to review their economic positions and policies. The IMF conducts those missions as part of its group’s ongoing and routine consultations under the organization’s Articles of Agreement, as adopted by the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference of 1944.

The IMF publishes a concluding statement after the conclusion of its official visit to summarize staffers’ preliminary findings. Later, it promulgates a more detailed report detailing its preliminary findings for submission to the IMF Executive Board for review.

Those statements represent the viewpoint of the IMF staff members who participated in the visit. They “do not necessarily represent” the official view of the IMF or its executive board.

The latest concluding statement slammed the United States over its level of national debt.

IMF Statement

On June 27, the IMF website posted the preliminary findings of staff members at the end of their official visit to the US to conduct the UN financial organization’s annual Article IV mission. The report started positively enough, with staffers noting that overall, the US economy had “proven itself to be robust, dynamic, and adaptable” to changing conditions internationally.

The concluding statement noted that employment figures continued to “exceed expectations.” The staff members also found that the country’s “disinflation process [had] been considerably less costly than many [analysts and economists] had feared.”

However, the report quickly pivoted and warned that America’s “fiscal deficit” was “too large.” The analysis said that the situation was “creating a sustained upward trajectory” for the public debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio.

IMF staff members wrote that increased trade restrictions and “insufficient progress” addressing the vulnerabilities created by the 2023 bank failures in the US posed “important downside risks” for the American economy.

A Grim Economic Future

The IMF report warned that “chronic deficits” amassed over the last few years could lead to a lopsided debt-to-GDP ratio as high as 140% by 2032. The staff members urged the US to address that mounting problem quickly.

Likewise, the report noted that by the United States government’s “own estimates, the national debt will balloon to %56.9 trillion by 2034.” IMF staffers also said that its estimate marked a significant increase from earlier projections.

Business Insider published an article discussing the IMF report. The news outlet noted that alarms have already “started ringing over fiscal instability” because the government had to finance its debts during “an era of higher interest rates,” pushing the national deficit even higher.

The IMF report recommended that US lawmakers increase direct and indirect taxes to offset that problem, even for individuals earning less than $400,000 annually.

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