U.S. government hits record for Treasury selling debt

The U.S. government hit a record this year on selling long-term debt after the Treasury Department on Thursday auctioned its latest seven-year notes, bringing it to a total of $2.25 trillion for the year in sales of notes and bonds ranging from two to 30 years.

The figures, reported by The Wall Street Journal, represented a 26 percent spike from 2017. 

Since then, President TrumpDonald John TrumpLA Times editorial board torches Trump on climate Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices MORE has signed a huge tax-cut bill into law that lowered the corporate tax rate. Congress has also approved a series of major spending bills — most recently last week, when a $1.4 trillion package was approved by the House and Senate.

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The U.S. national debt now stands at more than $23 trillion.

There have been few signs of austerity from Congress and the Trump administration in the last year.

The spending bills signed into law by the president last week include other tax cuts and credits that would add an estimated $400 billion to the cost of the $1.4 trillion measure.

Demand at Treasury debt auctions has been stable even as yields on the securities have dropped in recent years, according to the Journal. Investors and bond dealers have offered bids totaling more than double the total amount of notes and bonds up for auction. 

The percentage of investors purchasing debt was the largest since the Treasury Department began sharing auction information publicly, according to the outlet. Investors submitted bids for more than 90 percent of what the government sold. However, bond dealers purchased a record-low amount of the debt.

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Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies Financial Group, predicted that demand for Treasury securities should remain high.

“There’s still a very significant contingent of buyers who continue to need to buy longer-dated positive-yielding sovereign debt,” he told the Journal. “These long-term trends should continue to hold.”

The yield on the 10-year treasury note fell to 1.904 percent Thursday, compared to 1.909 on percent Tuesday. At this time last year, the yield was 2.684 percent.

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