A report from the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has shown rising debt levels worldwide. The world’s second-largest economy China’s debt exceeded 303 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of the year.
Data showed the country’s total corporate, household and government debt rose from 297 percent in the same period a year earlier.
“While authorities’ efforts to curb shadow bank lending (particularly to smaller companies) have prompted a cutback in non-financial corporate debt, net borrowing in other sectors has brought China’s total debt to over $40 trillion – some 15 percent of all global debt,” said the report.
NEW Global Debt Monitor: Global debt hit $246T in Q1 2019, nearly 320% of GDP.
Debt by sector, Q1 2019 (as % of GDP):
🔹Non-financial corporates: 91.4%
🔹Financial corporates: 80.8% pic.twitter.com/4Qu0ekvpZw
— IIF (@IIF) July 15, 2019
It added: “Of note, onshore bond issuance suggests a big pickup in borrowing by local governments and banks this year.”
Chinese officials have repeatedly said debt risks are manageable overall.
Beijing reported this week that the economy grew 6.2 percent in the second quarter from a year ago. That’s the worst result in nearly three decades for the country dragged into a trade war with the United States.
The country’s authorities have been encouraging banks to lend more in order to revive investment and protect jobs. Beijing has also unveiled billions of dollars in tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
According to the Finance Ministry, in the first half of 2019, local governments’ total net bond issuance reached 2.1765 trillion yuan ($316.5 billion).
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