Wednesday, April 30, 2003

U.S. to sell record $58 bln. in notes

By Rachel Koning, CBS.MarketWatch.com, The United States will sell a record $58 billion combined in 3-, 5- and 10-year notes this quarter to compensate for a weak economy's skimpy tax revenue and pay for expanding benefits and defense programs ... The Bush administration expects a $304 billion budget shortfall at the end of the current fiscal year Sept. 30. Most observers look for an even wider gap at least through fiscal 2004. Officials said the upcoming auctions this quarter are not affected by the agency's debt limit. The $6.4 trillion ceiling was hit earlier this year, forcing Treasury to borrow temporarily from government retirement funds and other means to keep up operations. The agency said Wednesday that without an extension from Congress, Treasury's current financing measures would only fund the government through the second half of May. The Bush administration is hoping for a permanent extension of the debt limit but has not asked for a specific amount.

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