China & Japan Stockpile U.S. Treasuries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities jumped in February, driven by China and Japan, the two biggest foreign owners of U.S. debt.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings increased 0.9 percent to $6.24 trillion.

China expanded its holdings 1.1 percent to $1.25 trillion, while Japan increased its holdings 0.9 percent to $1.13 trillion.

Holdings by Caribbean banking centers such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands rose 3 percent to $361 billion.

The national debt now stands at a record $19.1 trillion. With the federal budget deficit projected to grow, the United States will need to see continued strong foreign demand for Treasury debt.