The second-largest economy in the world has been steadily unloading hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US government-backed securities for more than a decade.
New numbers from the U.S. Treasury Department show China’s holdings of Treasury securities have reached a low not witnessed in over 14 years.
China was in the process of gradually accumulating US Treasuries until May of 2013, when its stockpile reached an all-time high of $1.297 trillion.
Since then, the BRICS nation has been steadily divesting its Treasury holdings, paring its ownership down to $805.4 billion as of August 2023 – a decrease of over $491 billion from the peak.
China’s quiet distribution of its Treasury holdings comes as a top rating agency lowered its outlook on the debt of the United States.
On Friday, Moody’s changed its outlook on the country’s credit rating from stable to negative. According to Moody’s, the move is due to the country’s weakening financial position and political infighting in Washington.
”In the context of higher interest rates, without effective fiscal policy measures to reduce government spending or increase revenues, Moody’s expects that the US’ fiscal deficits will remain very large, significantly weakening debt affordability.”
A downgrade in the outlook of the nation’s debt does not necessarily mean that Moody’s will cut the country’s credit ratings, but the agency says the odds of that happening in the future have increased.
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