WASHINGTON - The Treasury said yesterday that it believes government borrowing needs can be met for the time being without adding new issues to the auction cycle.
"For the foreseeable future, we believe that the current regular cycles for bills, notes, and bonds will be sufficient to refund maturing securities and raise needed cash." said Frank Newman, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance.
If there is a decision to change the auction calendar, "we would provide ample advance notice to the public," he said.
Newman's comments came during the quarterly refunding announcement in which the Treasury said it plans to auction a record $38.5 billion in three-year notes, 10-year notes, and 30-year bonds next week.
At a special meeting in June of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Public Securities Association, members said they believed the government would be able to stick to the current debt cycle for the next 18 months.
But several panel members said the market for two-year, three-year, and five-year notes could become saturated. They suggested that the Treasury consider bi-monthly offerings of three-year notes, which are now sold quarterly.
The panel also recommended that the Treasury consider issuing a floating-rate five-year note before the end of 1995. The notes would carry interest rates indexed to 13-week bills and be reset frequently. perhaps weekly.
However, Newman stressed that Treasury officials are comfortable for now with the current auction schedule. Demand for Treasury securities has been very strong," he said, "and there appears to be no strain whatsoever in terms of issuing the amount of securities we need to issue at each of the auctions."
Newman also announced that the Treasury will extend its single-price auction experiment for regular monthly offerings of two-year and five-year notes for another year. The experiment, begun last September, is aimed at determining whether the government can save money by encouraging dealers to bid more aggressively than they do under the usual multiprice system for Treasury securities.
"We believe that more observations are necessary to evaluate the single-price auction technique thoroughly." Newman said. So far, he added. the results of the experiment have not shown any evidence that the technique has added to government borrowing costs.
Newman said the PSA advisory panel's suggestion to issue a floating-rate note is "worth attention," but that Treasury officials do not have the idea under formal study.