Household Debt Is China’s Latest Time Bomb

While too much can be made of the headline number — lending is always disproportionately large in January, and bank loans are rising as regulators crack down on more shadowy forms of financing — the pace of growth for household debt is worrying. Between January and October last year, according to recent data from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chinese household leverage rose more than eight percentage points, from 44.8 percent to 53.2 percent of GDP — a record increase….Before 2009, household debt levels had hovered around 18 percent of GDP for five years. In other words, the debt burden for Chinese consumers has nearly tripled in the past decade.