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Treasury Department to borrow nearly $3 trillion in a single quarter

A large sum will be needed to cover the cost of pandemic assistance programs

Photo (c) NoDerog - Getty Images
The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday that it will have to borrow nearly $3 trillion during the second quarter to cover coronavirus stimulus measures. 

"The increase in privately-held net marketable borrowing is primarily driven by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak," the Treasury Department explained in a statement.

The Department said the massive amount of money will go towards funding various programs created by the government to support workers, individuals, and businesses whose revenue streams were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Department said it anticipates having to borrow another $677 billion between July and September. It already borrowed $477 billion in the first quarter. 

Deficit soars

The national annual deficit is poised to soar to $4 trillion due to the pandemic, which is more than double the previous record for the largest annual deficit captured in 2009. 

The Treasury ended up borrowing $530 billion quarterly during the July-September 2008 quarter to deal with the 2008 financial crisis. The amount the Treasury Department will have to borrow this quarter is more than five times the amount needed to address the financial crisis. 

The Washington Post notes that the passage of additional legislation could prompt the agency to borrow even more later this year. 

“My expectation is that we will see something else,” Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute told the Post. “It’s reasonably likely that the economy is going to need significant government support for many, many months … that is going to have to change as the public health situation changes and evolves.”

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