Canada Turns to Long-Term Debt to Finance Spike in Deficit

Canada will ramp up issuance of long-term debt this year to finance its record budget deficit, Bloomberg News reported. The federal government plans to sell C$106 billion ($78 billion) of 10-year and 30-year bonds in the fiscal year that ends March 31, according to budget documents released Wednesday. That’s more than six times the C$17 billion of such bonds it sold last year. “Given the historic level of issuance in the 10-year and 30-year sectors, the government will consult regularly with market participants and make appropriate adjustments, if necessary, to maintain well-functioning markets,” the government said. Ten-year and 30-year bonds are expected to rise to 18 percent and 8 percent of gross issuance, from 11 percent and 3 percent previously. Asked about ultra-long debt like 50-year and 100-year bonds, Morneau told reporters the government will continue consulting markets to consider options, without specifically commenting on the question. In total, the government expects gross bond issuance of C$409 billion. The total bond stock is projected to increase 53 percent to C$915 billion. Canada is boosting issuance of longer-range debt as its grapples with a budget deficit that may reach a record C$343.2 billion, or 15.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the government said today. That’s a larger budget gap than the 11.8 percent recently projected by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Read more.