The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a survey indicating that the 2020 fiscal year saw the US deficit hit $3.13 trillion, or 15.2% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The 2020 fiscal year expired on 30 September.
"If the CBO's estimates are on the mark, the country's total debt owed to investors […] will have outpaced the size of the economy, coming in at nearly 102% of [US] GDP", CNN reported on Thursday, referring to estimates made by the Washington-based non-profit organisation Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB).
The news network also cited CRFB president Maya MacGuineas as saying that "[US] debt is the size of the economy today, and soon it will be larger than any time in history".
The CRFB calculations come after a CBO report in September claimed that the US federal debt held by the public is expected to equal 195% of the nation's GDP by 2050, which will be a two-fold increase since 2020.
The survey claimed that with the federal debt due to stand at 98% of GDP by the end of this year, "the projected budget deficits would boost federal debt to 104% of GDP in 2021, [and] to 107% of GDP in 2023".
This was preceded by US Department of the Treasury data indicating in June that the country's national debt had exceeded $26 trillion for the first time in history, as the nation grapples with economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The US government has provided up to $5 trillion in coronavirus bailout funds since March 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in late March and included $2 trillion, while the $3-trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act was adopted in May.