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$1,728,477,000,000: U.S. federal debt hits new record

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. government debt climbed to yet another record this week, hitting $1,728,477,000,000.00 by the close of business Wednesday, Feb. 13, according to data released last week. It was an increase of $10,734,000,000.00 from the close of business on the previous Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The total debt of the federal government as of Wednesday was $16,524,304,599,079.04, which included $11,668,602,027,147.93 in debt held by the public and $4,855,702,571,931.11 in intra-governmental debt. Intra-governmental is when money the Treasury has taken out of government trust funds, such as the Social Security Trust Fund, and is spent on other government programs.

Since Jan. 2 of this year, the Federal Reserve has increased its holdings of U.S. government debt by $62,359,000,000.00. The Treasury has simultaneously increased the overall debt held by the public by $87,084,476,752.86. Therefore, the Federal Reserve has bought up the equivalent of 71.6 percent of the publicly held debt that has been issued by the Treasury so far in 2013, and 14.8 percent of all of the U.S. government's publicly held debt that is now extant.

The Federal Reserve said on January 30 that it intended to buy $45 billion in federal government debt per month with the aim of helping to insure economic growth at what it called a "moderate pace" as well as an unemployment rate that would "gradually decline."

The U.S. economy did not grow in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. On the contrary real GDP declined by 0.1 percent. In January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment did not decline. In fact, it ticked up from 7.8 percent in December to 7.9 percent in January.

"The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a press release.

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