On the left we detail new-issue leveraged loans in the US by rating on an annual basis. As you can see, 2021 was a record year for leveraged loan issuance primarily due to the robust economic rebound from the pandemic along with improving credit quality. A majority of new-issue leverage loans have a B+/B/B- rating.
On the right-hand side, we show the spread between BB and CCC high yield loans in the US. The spread spiked noticeably during the pandemic due to higher default risk but has since come down well below the long run average . The spread has widened recently, as a potential economic slowdown looms.