China Still Largest Holder of U.S. Treasuries

When the U.S. Treasury announced its December numbers for net foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury bills earlier this month showing Japan had displaced China as the largest holder, we advised a watch and see approach. Having waited a couple of weeks we now see that the U.S.Treasury has revised its figures — not uncommon — and China’s holdings weren’t overtaken after all. China held $894.8 billion in Treasury securities at the end of December, more than the $755 billion previously estimated, the U.S. Treasury now says. Japan in December held $765.7 billion in Treasuries, less than the $769 billion first estimated. What hasn’t changed is that the value of Chinese holdings of  has fallen since June, when China had an estimated $915.8 billion in Treasury securities. (Full TIC report.) The revision was caused by adjustments made to account for purchases of Treasury securities made by China outside the country, such as via Hong Kong and the U.K. These are difficult to track. A further round of revisions will be announced at the end of April.


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Filed under China-U.S., Economy

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