Finance

U.S. Treasury keeps auction sizes steady, bill decline to slow By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The United States Department of the Treasury is seen in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) -The U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday it will keep its coupon issuance steady over the coming quarter, and that declines in outstanding Treasury bills should slow.

The Treasury said it will sell $58 billion in three-year notes next week as well as $41 billion in 10-year notes and $27 billion in 30-year bonds, unchanged from last quarter.

It noted that it faces uncertain and sizable borrowing needs due to pandemic-related spending and that any shifts in borrowing needs will be met with changes in its issuance of Treasury bills and cash management bills.

The Treasury also said it expects Congress to raise or suspend the U.S. debt limit in a timely manner, and that it may take certain extraordinary measures if Congress does not.

Any such measure would be implemented after the reinstatement of the debt ceiling, if it occurs, rather than in anticipation of such a move, said Brian Smith, deputy assistant secretary for federal finance, in a call with reporters.

The Treasury also warned that extraordinary measures could be exhausted more quickly than in previous debt limit episodes.

The government expects its cash balance to be around $450 billion at the expiration of the debt limit suspension on July 31.

It expects the amount of Treasury bills outstanding to fall by around $150 billion by this date, which is approximately one-third of the size of the decline in bill supply since the February refunding.

The Treasury has reduced bill issuance this year as it cuts its cash balance, after raising a record amount of cash last year.

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