Ok so I looked into this and its much harder than I though without access to analyst level data, however here is what I could find.
A couple of notes on this too:
- This is only ‘long term debt’ which is described as a maturity date of more than 5 years. Not very long term in my humble opinion. I wasn’t able to get the historical data for ‘total debt’ which was my original post.
- Its FTSE 100 companies for each year and the data is from end of each year. Im raising this because companies will come in and out of the index each year.
- 2018 data is annualised to end of September only.
Overall I would say that the low interest rate environment has been the key factor in this rising debt. However this year might be higher due to Carillion, Tesco & Vodafone taking on / having huge debt piles. Another view is that the % is high because market caps are low? FTSE 100 is on a trailing P/E of just over 12 as of today, which seems ‘cheap’ given the historical values we’ve had.