28/03/2014 – Borrowing operations by OECD governments are set to decrease, as their borrowing needs continue to decline, according to a new OECD report. Net borrowing needs are projected to fall from USD 2.0 trillion in 2013 to USD 1.5 trillion in 2014, the lowest level since 2007.
The Sovereign Borrowing Outlook 2014 estimates that gross borrowing requirements will total USD 10.6 trillion in 2014, down from USD 10.8 trillion in 2013.
The redemption profile of medium- and long-term central government debt in the OECD area remains challenging, according to the Outlook, with large projected payment flows for the G7 and euro area governments for 2013 and 2014. For the OECD area as a whole, governments will need to refinance close to 29 % of its outstanding long-term debt in the next 3 years.
Central government marketable debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to reach 77.1% in 2014, slightly up from 77% in 2013. The good news, says the report, is that debt ratios of country groupings are increasing at a significantly slower pace than at the height of the crisis or even show a stabilising trend.
Continuing volatility in global markets, combined with uncertainties about the timing of the US Federal Reserve tapering and Quantitative Easing exits elsewhere, will continue to pose challenges for debt managers, according to the Outlook. Skilful debt management, supported by a transparent monetary exit and a prudent fiscal strategy, will be needed to avoid a return to dysfunctional markets, including higher stress in inter-banking markets and sovereign debt markets.
On the issue of “safe” sovereign assets, the OECD finds no evidence of a structural shortage in supply. It estimates that their supply has actually increased since the start of the crisis: between 2007 and 2014, the outstanding amount of AAA-rated longer-term central government debt securities data for OECD countries is projected to increase by more than USD 6 trillion.
Governments are also set to issue more long-term debt, with the share of short-term issuance in 2014 expected to remain in the range 45-46%, well below the pre-crisis share of almost 49%.