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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 $19,913,901,120,188.15.

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 $61,029.

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.

Top Debt Requests:

Find DEFICIT stats and history.

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Find NATIONAL DEBT today.

See FEDERAL BUDGET breakdown and estimated vs. actual.

See BAR CHARTS of debt, debt.

Check STATE debt: CA NY TX FL and compare.

See DEBT ANALYSIS briefing.

See DEBT HISTORY briefing.

Take a COURSE at Spending 101.

Make your own CUSTOM CHART.

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: $19,913,901,120,188.15

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.

The Feds Borrow More Than The "Deficit"

People naturally assume that the annual Deficit is the total that the Federal government borrows each year. Actually this is not so. The Deficit is simply the difference between Federal Outlays and Federal Receipts. Usually, the Feds borrow a lot more than the official Deficit.

Like below, in $ billion:

YearGross
Debt
Debt
Increase
Federal
Deficit
Other
Borrow
2000562924-236259
20057905551318232
20101352916531294359
20111476412351300-64
20121605112871087200
201316719669680-11
2014177951075485590
201518120326438-113
2016195371417587830

We have provided the difference between the Debt increase and the Deficit for each year under "Other Borrowings" on the Spending Details page. To Recap:

Other Borrowings = (Increase in Federal Debt) - (Official Deficit)

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