(Bloomberg) -- The amount of money the US government had to pay its bills jumped on Monday to the highest level in two weeks as the Treasury rebuilds its cash pile in the wake of the Washington’s debt-ceiling suspension.
The Treasury’s cash balance rose to $71.2 billion on Monday, taking it to a level last surpassed on May 23, according to data published Tuesday. The $47.9 billion increase from the day before was the largest leap since April 18, when the Treasury received a flood of payments related to the annual income tax filing deadline. The Treasury’s bank account had been under downward pressure recently because of measures being taken to avoid breaching the $31.4 trillion debt cap, and toward the end of last week its coffers were mired at levels not seen for more than half a decade.
The bill President Joe Biden signed Saturday suspended the debt limit until Jan. 1, 2025, allowing the Treasury to rebuild its cash to more normal levels. Early last month — before a lot of the political wrangling that saw a deal struck to avoid default with just days to spare — the Treasury department had penciled in a $550 billion cash-balance level for the end of June. A widening fiscal deficit also puts pressure on the Treasury to step up borrowing.
Plans to replenish the Treasury’s cash balance by ramping up its cache of bills are already afoot. This week’s bill auctions will increase the outstanding supply by about $90 billion and on Tuesday the Treasury announced plans to boost the size of its shortest tenor benchmark bill auctions.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.