The US Department of the Treasury said on Monday it expects to borrow a record $3 trillion in the second quarter of 2020 alone to help pay for the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019, the US Treasury borrowed $1.28 trillion over 12 months.
Asked if there was capacity in the market to absorb such a huge volume of debt in just three months, a senior Treasury official told Reuters: “We do believe that it’s out there.”
Since the beginning of March, US national debt has grown by about $1.5 trillion to just under $25 trillion.
“During the April – June 2020 quarter, Treasury expects to borrow $2,999 billion in privately-held net marketable debt, assuming an end-of-June cash balance of $800 billion,” said the Treasury.
“The borrowing estimate is $3,055 billion higher than announced in February 2020.
“The increase in privately-held net marketable borrowing is primarily driven by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, including expenditures from new legislation to assist individuals and businesses, changes to tax receipts including the deferral of individual and business taxes from April – June until July, and an increase in the assumed end-of-June Treasury cash balance.”