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Foreign holdings of US debt hit record $5.43T

MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 | 11:09 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in August, further evidence that most nations see U.S. debt as a safe investment.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose to a record $5.43 trillion in August. That's up 1.5 percent from the July level.

China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, increased its holdings 0.4 percent to $1.15 trillion. And Japan increased its holdings 0.5 percent to $1.12 billion. Japan now trails China's holdings by just $32.1 billion.

Demand for U.S. debt has remained high even though the United States has run budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion for the past four years. Many foreign investors see U.S. debt as a safe investment with Europe in crisis and global growth slowing.