U.S. financial system remains resilient, business debt loads stay high: U.S. Fed

Xinhua News Agency | Nov 16, 2019 at 2:19 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The financial system of the United States remained resilient, but debt loads of businesses stayed at a record high, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) said on Friday.

"The level of vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system has moved little" since May, Fed said in its newly released Financial Stability Report.

In the report, the Fed noted that household borrowing in the United States remained at a modest level, however debt loads of businesses were at a record high.

"Borrowing by businesses is historically high relative to gross domestic product (GDP), with the most rapid increases in debt concentrated among the riskiest firms amid weak credit standards," said the Fed.

On valuation pressures, the Fed said that investor appetite for risk generally appeared to have returned to a level in the middle of its historical range, but remained elevated for some important classes of assets.

Besides, the Fed said, the core of the financial sector appeared to be resilient, with leverage low and funding risk limited relative to the levels of recent decades.

Even though the financial system of the United States remained resilient, the Fed warned that some near-term risks could have the potential to interact with the vulnerabilities in the system.

These risks included Brexit and other stresses in Europe, stresses in emerging markets, and an unexpected and marked slowdown in U.S. economic growth, said the Fed.

The Fed publishes its Financial Stability Report twice a year, in order to promote public understanding of the status of U.S. financial system.