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China debt crunch

China's debt ratio hits record high at 3 times GDP

Weak economy and infrastructure spending drive up borrowing

Local governments have been issuing debt to finance construction projects as pandemic-linked restrictions weigh on the economy.    © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's debt as a percentage of its economy hit a fresh high at the end of June, with local authorities borrowing heavily to underpin an economy weighed down by the central government's zero-COVID policy.

Credit to the nonfinancial sector came to $51.87 trillion, or 295% of gross domestic product, to mark the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in data going back to 1995, in statistics released Monday by the Bank for International Settlements. The percentage topped the previous peak marked at the end of 2020 even as a weak economy discouraged borrowing by private companies and households.

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