Australia’s booming natural-resources industry and proximity to fast growing economies like China helped it weather much of the financial crisis. Australia has also done a good job of reigning in its public debt – with the federal government promising a budget surplus this year of $1.52 billion. Such fiscal restraint has helped Australia achieve the lowest public debt-to-GDP ratio of any country on our list, but the island nation is not without its own challenges. A potential hard landing in China could damage Australia’s export economy, and large consumer and financial institution debt means neither the average citizen nor the country’s large banks have much of a cushion to withstand another global economic downturn.
Total Debt as a percentage of GDP: 277%
Nonfinancial Corporations: 59%
Financial Institutions: 91 %