Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it will increase the size of its auctions to help manage its debt burden and rising financing costs.
The Department of Treasury has detailed its plans to refund future debt sales, a move that is gaining attention on Wall Street. Treasury yields are at their highest level since 2007. This is a reflection of the financial markets' concern over what damage could be caused by higher borrowing costs.
Treasury will first auctioned $112 billion worth of debt to refund $102,2 billion in notes that are due to mature on Nov. 15 to raise more than $9 billion.
The sale is divided into three phases. Starting on Tuesday, $48 billion will be sold in 3-year notes. On the following days, $40 billion will be sold in 10-year notes and $24 billion dollars in 30-year bonds. Wall Street had made some recent estimates about the total amount of sales.
The department will then increase the size of the auctions for various maturities and focus more on coupons-bearing bonds and notes. The department will continue to auction bills at the current size until late November when its General Account should be replenished to allow for "modest reductions".
The department said that the auctions for coupon securities would be faster than before, but the debt with longer maturities will increase at a more moderate rate.
The Department expects to increase sizes of 2-year and 5-year notes, by $3 billion per month. For the 3-year and 7-year notes, by $2 billion each month. By the end January, the sizes of the auctions will have increased by $9 billion, $8 billion, $9 billion, and $3 billion.
The department announced it on Monday.
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Investors should pay attention to the auction changes because they can provide insight into future yields. The markets have been worried about whether Treasury will need enough bonds to meet demand, which could cause yields to rise even more and cause financial distress.
Most auctions have seen a good level of demand in recent years, but yields remain at their highest levels ever since 2007.
Treasury officials attribute the majority of the increase in yields to higher expectations for growth. This has led to concerns that the Federal Reserve may have to maintain high benchmark rates in order to continue to reduce inflation to acceptable levels.
A letter accompanying Wednesday's announcement called the increase in yields "partially a response to stronger-than-expected activity and labor market data."
The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee chair Deirdre Dunn and Colin Teichholtz vice chair wrote that "multiple factors are likely to have contributed to the increase in longer-term rates."
They wrote: "For instance, strong data on the labor market and activity, the possibility that neutral interest rates are now higher, supply and demand dynamics, and the return to a positive term premium in long-dated Treasury Securities have all contributed to some degree."
Treasury officials will host a press conference at 10 am ET to discuss the changes further. The changes will be discussed in more detail at 10 a.m. ET.