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What is Agency Debt?

This page shows Agency Debt.

Agency Debt: That’s the amount of debt outstanding issued by federal agencies (such as FHLB and GNMA) and government-sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

Up to now, Agency Debt has not been included in the total debt of the United States government as published by the United States Department of the Treasury.

 

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Federal Debt Clock

Today’s Federal Debt is $19,845,900,078,837.07.

The amount is the gross outstanding debt issued by the United States Department of the Treasury since 1790 and reported here.

But, it doesn’t include state and local debt.

And, it doesn’t include so-called “agency debt.”

And, it doesn’t include the so-called unfunded liabilities of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Federal Debt per person is about $60,821.

Projected and Recent US Agency Debt Numbers

Fiscal
Year
Total
Agency Debt
GSE DebtAgency/GSE
Mortgage
Pool Debt
2017*$8.62 trln$6.56 trln$2.06 trln
2016*$8.38 trln$6.46 trln$1.91 trln
2015$8.14 trln$6.37 trln$1.78 trln
2014$7.92 trln$6.28 trln$1.65 trln
2013$7.77 trln$6.20 trln$1.57 trln
2012$7.53 trln$6.09 trln$1.44 trln

Note:

* Agency Debt after 2015 is “guesstimated.”

Agency Debt Charts   also: Spending Charts  Revenue Charts  Debt Charts  Deficit Charts  

 

Recent US Agency/GSE Debt

Chart D.21f: Recent US Agency Debt

Chart D.22f: Recent US Agency Debt as Percent GDP

Agency Debt, i.e. debt issued by US agencies and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and not counted as US Treasury debt, increased briskly from $6 trillion in 2005 to over $8 trillion in 2008. But the real-estate collapse stopped the increase in agency debt, and since 2008 agency debt has remained at or a little below $8 trillion.

Viewed as percent of GDP, agency debt increased substantially against the headwinds of the early decline in the real-estate market, peaking at over 56 percent GDP in 2009. Since the Crash of 2008 agency debt has steadily decreased as a percent of GDP, down to 45 percent GDP in 2014.

US Agency Debt Since 1945

Chart D.23f: Agency Debt since 1945

Agency debt (primarily debt from agencies and government-sponsored enterprises like the Federal National Mortgage Association that securitize home mortgage debt) started the immediate post World War II era at with a level of debt less than 0.5 percent of GDP and didn’t hit 1 percent of GDP till 1957.

But then agency debt began an exponential rise, with debt hitting 2 percent of GDP in 1965, blowing past 5 percent of GDP in 1973, reaching 10 percent of GDP in 1981.

Agency debt blew past 20 percent of GDP in 1988, exceeded 30 percent of GDP in 1995, and hit 40 percent of GDP in 1999, and agency debt peaked at 52 percent of GDP in 2003 at the end of the 2000-02 recession.

In the 2000s expansion agency debt declined to 46.7 percent of GDP by 2006, but then blew off in the Crash of 2008, peaking at 56.1 percent of GDP in the Great Recession year of 2009.

After the Crash of 2008 agency debt decreased rapidly to 46.6 percent of GDP by 2012 and then began a more gradual decline to 45.5 percent of GDP by 2014.

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Debt Data Sources

Debt data is from official government sources.

Gross Domestic Product data comes from US Bureau of Economic Analysis and measuringworth.com.

Detailed table of debt data sources here.

Federal debt data begins in 1792.

State and local debt data begins in 1890.

State and local debt data for individual states begins in 1957.

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Gross Federal Debt

Debt: $19,845,900,078,837.07

Data Sources for 2012_2021:

Sources for 2012:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

Sources for 2021:

GDP, GO: GDP, GO Sources
Federal: Fed. Budget: Hist. Tables 3.2, 5.1, 7.1
State and Local: State and Local Gov. Finances
'Guesstimated' by projecting the latest change in reported spending forward to future years

> data sources for other years
> data update schedule.

FY18 Budget Blueprint Released

On March 16, 2018 the Trump administration issued a Budget Blueprint outlining proposed changes to "discretionary" spending for Fiscal Year 2018. The following table shows the major changes to Budget Authority in excess of $2 billion per agency.

AgencyFY18 Change
in $ billion
Agriculture-4.7
Defense+52.4
Education-9.2
Health and
Human Services
-12.6
Homeland
Security
+2.8
HUD-6.2
Justice-4.0
Labor-2.5
State and Intl Aid-10.9
Veterans+4.4
EPA-2.6

Because usgovernmentspending spending data is based on Historical Table 3.2, it shows spending by function rather than by agency. Until Table 3.2 is published in the final version of the FY18 budget we cannot exactly predict how the Table 3.2 numbers will change at the subfunction level.

But we have applied the Budget Blueprint budget authority changes into the budgeted FY18 outlays by guessing the application of agency level changes to subfunction changes to give a rough feeling of what the Trump changes look like. You can check out what is going on here or here.

The numbers will change when the final FY18 federal budget numbers come out.

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usgovernmentdebt.us was designed and executed by:

Christopher Chantrill.

Email here.


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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