World Economy

Top Economies Need $7t to Refinance Debt

Top Economies Need $7t to Refinance DebtTop Economies Need $7t to Refinance Debt

The amount of debt that the governments of the world’s leading economies will need to refinance in 2016 will be little changed from last year as nations make strides in cutting budget deficits to a third of the highs seen during the financial crisis.

The value of bills, notes and bonds coming due for the Group-of-Seven nations plus Brazil, China, India and Russia will total $7.1 trillion, compared with $7 trillion in 2015 and down from $7.6 trillion in 2012. Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada will all see redemptions fall, while the US, China and the UK face increases, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The amount of maturing debt has gradually fallen since Bloomberg began collating the data in 2012. The decline may bring some support to the bond market as the US Federal Reserve gradually raises interest rates, pushing yields up from record lows. Budget deficits are forecast by economists to narrow for a seventh straight year in 2016 as governments continue to cut back on the extra spending put in place to combat the global financial meltdown.

  Migrant Influx

While the decline shows there’s less pressure on governments to borrow, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will issue less—that depends on their overall funding requirements. Germany plans to boost its bond and bill sales to €203 billion ($221 billion) this year from about €175 billion in 2015, partly to finance expenses caused by a record influx of migrants.

Russia and Brazil will see the biggest proportional declines in debt redemptions, with securities coming due tumbling by 38% and 26%, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Including interest payments, the amount of debt that needs to be refinanced by the G-7 and BRICS nations will total $7.8 trillion this year, also little changed from 2015.

Government bonds eked out a 1.2% gain for investors in 2015, compared with 8.4% in 2014 and an average 4.4% return over the past five years, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. Yields, which move inversely to prices, are now starting to rise as the fallout from recession fades, reducing demand for the securities as a haven, and as the US central bank predicts four rate increases before the year is out.

  US’ $13t Burden

In the US, the world’s largest debtor nation with $13.1 trillion of marketable debt obligations, the amount of government securities coming due will rise 14% from last year to $3.5 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. China faces the biggest percentage increase in refinancing needs in 2016, with a 41% jump to $254 billion.

US 10-year Treasury yields will climb to 2.75% by the end of 2016 from 2.25% in Tokyo, according to the median forecast of 65 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.