US Treasury Boosts Quarterly Borrowing Estimate to $1 Trillion

The US Treasury boosted its estimate for federal borrowing for the current quarter as it addresses a deteriorating fiscal deficit and keeps replenishing its cash buffer.

The Treasury Department increased its net borrowing estimate for the July through September quarter to $1 trillion, well up from the $733 billion amount it had predicted in early May.

The new amount, published on Monday, is a record for the September quarter and in excess of what some close watchers of the figure had expected. JPMorgan Chase & Co. had penciled in $796 billion. Lou Crandall at Wrightson ICAP LLC predicted $885 billion.

Part of the higher borrowing estimate is due to a bigger cash balance planned for the end of September. The Treasury bumped that number up to $650 billion, from the $600 billion it had anticipated three months ago. The cash stockpile — known as the Treasury General Account, or TGA — is currently about $552 billion.

Since Congress and the White House agreed to suspend the debt limit in early June, the Treasury has been ramping up its cash balance — which debt managers had run down toward zero as they made good on federal obligations without being able to increase borrowing.