Data published by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has revealed that global debt reached 322% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year.
Global debt is now 40 percentage points higher than at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, the data revealed.
The IIF warned that a global recession is looming, and that such a recession would begin with $87 trillion more in global debt than at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis.
If net government borrowing doubles from its 2019 level and global economic activity experiences a 3% contraction, the world's debt level will surge from 322% of GDP to more than 342% of GDP in 2020.
Commenting on the figures, Emre Tiftik, Director of the IIF, said: 'With the COVID-19 fiscal response in full swing, the global debt burden is set to rise dramatically in 2020.
'Remarkable uncertainty around the scale and duration of the pandemic makes point estimates challenging. A sharp upward trajectory in debt levels looks all but certain.'