Economic Report: U.S. Treasury increases borrowing estimate for first quarter


The Treasury Department said Monday it expects to borrow $932 billion in the first quarter, which is $353 billion higher than previously reported.

The decline was driven by a lower cash balance at the end of the last quarter and projections of lower receipts and higher spending.

The updated forecast includes an end-of-quarter cash balance of $500 billion.

The department is once again using extraordinary measures to stay under the debt ceiling that Congress has been unable to increase.

These measures allow the government to continue to issue bills and notes as scheduled in the near-$24 trillion Treasury market to replace old debt.

Tom Simmons, economist at Jefferies, said Treasury is able to boost borrowing in the first quarter as Treasury has gained access to the extraordinary measures and a paydown in the second quarter as the measures are exhausted.

Economists said that, in general, the debt ceiling handcuffs Treasury’s flexibility in their financing decisions this quarter.

Read: Why the debt-ceiling is already worrying stock and bond investors

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Treasury said it expects to borrow $278 billion in net marketable debt with a cash balance of $550 billion.

Treasury borrowed $373 in the fourth quarter and ended with a cash balance of $447 billion.

Additional financing details related to the Treasury’s quarterly refunding will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday. The Treasury will announce details of a package of 3-year notes
10-year notes
and 30-year bonds

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