‘Unproductive’ debt up sharply since 2009: Deutsche Bank
by Joseph Adinolfi
Here’s yet another sign that China’s economy may be teetering on the brink of a massive debt crisis.
Unproductive debt in China—that is, debt that’s used to drive up asset prices—swelled in 2015, eclipsing the level seen in the U.S. in the run-up to the Great Financial Crisis, said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, in a note to clients published Tuesday.
Slok’s findings are illustrated in the chart below, where he compares the level of credit growth required in the U.S. and China to generate 1 percentage point of gross domestic product growth. (He notes that the red bar for 2015 also grew, suggesting more credit growth is now required in the U.S. to produce one percentage point of GDP growth).