U.S. Treasury raises Q3 borrowing estimate, assumes more coronavirus fiscal aid

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday said it plans to borrow $947 billion in the third quarter as it anticipates the government continuing to need to spend heavily in order to reduce the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the economy.

Congress has already allocated about $3 trillion for coronavirus-related economic aid so far. Republicans and Democrats are currently at odds on a new coronavirus relief bill, after missing a vital deadline to extend relief benefits to tens of millions of jobless Americans.

Treasury’s estimates “assume $1 trillion of additional borrowing need in anticipation of additional legislation being passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” the department said in a statement.

Senior Treasury officials told reporters the estimates were tentative given uncertainty about the price tag of any future bill.

Treasury said it would borrow about $270 billion more than its previous estimate for the July-September quarter, assuming an end-September cash balance of $800 billion.

It borrowed $2.753 trillion through credit markets in the April-June quarter, a record for any quarter and higher than the previous record borrowing for a full fiscal year of $1.8 trillion in 2009. It ended the period with $1.722 trillion in cash.

In May, Treasury said it expected to issue $677 billion in net marketable debt in the July-September period.

Treasury said it expects to borrow $1.216 trillion during the October-December quarter, assuming an end-December cash balance of $800 billion.

Additional details of Treasury’s quarterly refunding will be announced at 8:30 a.m EDT (1230 GMT) on Wednesday. (Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Paul Simao)

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