Debt Risk

The PRC’s debt, at various levels, is a well-known risk to the country’s economic health. Existing loans to companies and households amounted to 207% of GDP at the start of this summer. Households had in the region of 38% of that debt as of last year. Municipal debt is approaching $25 trillion yuan ($3.9 trillion).

Now the People’s Bank of China is moving to cut the down payment required to get a loan to buy a house. The public claim the PBOC is making is that this is supposed to spur house buying and through that the economy. While it’s true enough that the cut—from 30% down to 25% down—seems like small potatoes, it still will result in an increase in household debt.

By what logic is it a useful spur to the PRC’s economy by increasing an already outlandish and out of control debt?

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