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China's central government debt slightly up in Q3

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-26 17:15

BEIJING - The balance of China's central government debt stood at 11.7 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) at the end of the third quarter, data from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) showed Monday.

The figure was up by 530 billion yuan from that at the end of the second quarter.

Of the debt, only 120 billion yuan was foreign debt, the ministry said in a statement.

China's government debt, which also includes local government debt, represented 41.5 percent of the country's GDP at the end of 2015, below the European Union's warning line of 60 percent and major market economies such as Japan and the United States.

The MOF said in May this year that there was still room for China to raise its debt level by moderately scaling up issuance of treasury bonds and local government bonds, which will help cushion the impact of shrinking social credit on economic growth.

The local government debt soared during an investment and construction binge following the global financial crisis in 2008.

China has put a ceiling on the amount of local government debt. The total outstanding debt of local governments must be kept under 17.2 trillion yuan at the end of 2016, according to the MOF.

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