US Treasury announces plans to borrow USD463B this quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States (US )Treasury Department said it expects to borrow USD463 billion in the current April-June quarter and USD2.28 trillion for the full budget year, as the government finances continued pandemic relief measures.

Treasury officials announced on Monday that the USD463 billion in borrowing for the current quarter represented a significant jump from a borrowing estimate for the current quarter of USD95 billion made in February.

The big increase of USD368 billion was attributed to passage of a USD1.9 trillion support measure that US President Joe Biden pushed through Congress in March which provided another round of relief payments totalling USD1,400 per individual plus other support including an extension of emergency unemployment benefits.

The April-June borrowing estimate follows actual Treasury borrowing of USD401 billion in the January-March quarter and USD597 billion in borrowing done in the October-December period, the first quarter in the government’s budget year.

The Treasury on Monday projected a borrowing need of USD821 billion for the July-September quarter, the final quarter of this 2021 budget year.

File photo shows the United States (US) Treasury Department building at dusk in Washington. PHOTO: AP

That would bring total borrowing this year to USD2.28 trillion, a significant amount but down from borrowing last year which totalled USD4.01 trillion.

That borrowing was needed to support an all-time high budget deficit of USD3.1 trillion, a figure that reflected trillions of dollars in government support provided to blunt the impact of the adverse effects of the pandemic, which forced widespread closures and the loss of millions of jobs.

Private economists are forecasting this year’s deficit could hit USD3.3 trillion or more.

Treasury said its estimate of borrowing needs assumes that the government will have a balance of cash on hand of USD450 billion when the current suspension of the government’s borrowing limit expires on July 31.

Once the debt suspension expires, the government will have to employ emergency moves to keep borrowing money until Congress passes an increase in the debt limit, something that in the past has promoted partisan clashes over the government tax and spending policies.