Charts of the Week

Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities

Chart of the Week for June 22, 2018 - June 28, 2018

China increased and Japan decreased their holdings of U.S. Treasury securities over the past year.

On a monthly basis, the U.S. Treasury ("Treasury") gathers data from U.S-based custodians and broker-dealers on the amount of U.S. Treasury securities held overseas. Some economists monitor this data for possible impacts on U.S. interest rates and on the value of the U.S. dollar, among other uses. For the period March 31, 2107 through March 31, 2018 noted above, Mainland China ("China") and Japan were the largest holders of U.S. Treasury Securities.

China's holdings increased by 9.15% year-over-year in March while Japan's holdings decreased by -6.89%. China's holdings represented a five-month high while Japan's holdings were the lowest level since October 2011. March was notable as trade policy and tariffs, particularly with China, were a prime subject of financial news. Financial journalists noted that U.S. Treasury securities are still seen as a "safe haven" even in the face of escalating trade rhetoric, and also see the increased Chinese holdings possibly being used as a factor in the trade negotiations. Economists note that foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities is important as the U.S. Budget Deficit is expected to increase this year causing more debt to be issued.

© Copyright 2018 ICMA Retirement Corporation, All Rights Reserved. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or investment strategies discussed here. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

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