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U.S. Treasury borrows $3 trillion as coronavirus bites harder

The U.S. Treasury announced its borrowing will reach a record $3 trillion in the current quarter, as the coronavirus batters the economy and government spending increased, including through massive stimulus programmes.

Treasury also noted a change in tax revenue, in part because it is offering deferrals.

Last year, the department borrowed about $1.2 trillion over the entire 12-month period.

Treasury said it would also look to borrow $677 billion in the July-to-September quarter of the year.

The U.S. national debt has been moving up, and is almost at $25 trillion.

U.S. President Donald Trump has downplayed the heavy borrowing going on under his administration and noted that interest rates were at historic lows, meaning the cost of borrowing is relatively cheap.

He has pushed ideas like borrowing to spend on infrastructure.

The U.S. Federal Reserve dropped its benchmark interest rate to near zero as the pandemic hit.

Recent stimulus bills are estimated to be nearing the 3-trillion-dollar mark and there is talk in Washington about working on another package, though it may take time for negotiations to bear fruit.

The stimulus spending to cushion the blow from the coronavirus, including the shutdowns of segments of the economy in government-led efforts to stem contagion, has enjoyed bipartisan support so far. (dpa/NAN)

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