Global debt hit its highest levels ever and governments should take actions to reduce their indebtedness while the going is still good, the International Monetary Fund said.
Total debt levels globally came in at a record $164 trillion in 2016, amounting to 225 percent of the world economy's gross domestic product, according to the IMF's April Fiscal Monitor. That level of debt was 12 percentage points steeper than the last historic high seen in 2009 immediately after the global financial crisis.
Those findings, taken together with the business cycle upswing, meant that governments should build buffers and cut public debt levels to face "challenges that will unavoidably come in the future," Vitor Gaspar, director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF, told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche.
"Because times are good. It's exactly in good times that you can build buffers and resilience," Gaspar said.