China and Japan help boost foreign holdings of US debt

WASHINGTON – Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities jumped in February, driven by China and Japan, the two biggest foreign owners of U.S. debt.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings increased 0.9 per cent to $6.24 trillion.

China expanded its holdings 1.1 per cent to $1.25 trillion, while Japan increased its holdings 0.9 per cent to $1.13 trillion.

Holdings by Caribbean banking centres such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands rose 3 per cent to $361 billion.

The national debt now stands at a record $19.1 trillion. With the federal budget deficit projected to grow, the United States will need to see continued strong foreign demand for Treasury debt.