WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department has raised by $22 billion its estimate of what it needs to borrow in the third quarter to keep the government operating.
Treasury said Monday that it expects to borrow $192 billion in the July-September period, up from an estimate of $170 billion announced in April. The borrowing increase is mainly due to the government taking in less in revenue than previously expected.
Treasury also said it expects to borrow $187 billion in the fourth quarter of the year.
To meet borrowing needs, the government sells Treasury securities such as 10-year notes and 30-year bonds at quarterly refunding auctions.
The government ran a budget surplus of $71 billion in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008. The June surplus followed a $130 billion deficit in May.
The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a deficit of $492 billion for the full budget year ending Sept. 30. That would be the narrowest gap since 2008.
In 2008, the government recorded a deficit of $458.6 billion, which was the record high for deficits up to that time. With the onset of the Great Recession, deficits soared to unprecedented levels, exceeding $1 trillion for four consecutive years. Tax revenues fell during that period, while government boosted spending in an attempt to stabilize the financial system and provide relief to people who had lost jobs.
"The outlook for federal finances is brighter," Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy Karen Dynan said in a statement Monday.
Dynan noted that the deficit has fallen from 9.8 percent of the nation's total economic output in fiscal 2009 to 4.1 percent of gross domestic product in fiscal 2013. The Obama administration's proposed budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 aims to reduce the deficit to $564 billion, or 3.1 percent of GDP.
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