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Lew urges Congress to raise debt ceiling soon

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress Thursday to quickly raise the country's borrowing ceiling to avert yet another political showdown over debt that could unnerve capital markets. "We have, you know, a deadline looming in February. February 7th our borrowing authority runs out again. At that point, Congress has to act," he said. Under current law the Treasury can borrow what it needs to cover the US budget deficit until February 7, when a fresh cap is set at the level of that day.

US Congress unveils $1 trillion spending bill

Negotiators from the US Senate and House of Representatives unveiled a $1 trillion spending bill late Monday, eliminating the threat of another government shutdown, at least until October. The high-stakes omnibus spending bill sets discretionary spending limits line by line for each federal agency until September 30, when the 2014 fiscal year ends. "We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014," said the negotiators, including Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat.

US Congress unveils $1 trillion spending bill

Negotiators from the US Senate and House of Representatives unveiled a $1 trillion spending bill late Monday, eliminating the threat of another government shutdown, at least until October. The high-stakes omnibus spending bill sets discretionary spending limits line by line for each federal agency until September 30, when the 2014 fiscal year ends. "We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014," said the negotiators, including Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat.

Fed more confident US unemployment easing

The US Federal Reserve was confident unemployment would continue to fall even if it cut its huge monetary stimulus, according to the minutes released Wednesday of the December policy meeting. "Most members agreed that the cumulative improvement in labor market conditions and the likelihood that the improvement would be sustained indicated that the Committee could appropriately begin to slow the pace of its asset purchases at the meeting," said the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's monetary policy meeting. vs/dc

Figures on government spending and debt

WASHINGTON - Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Total public debt subject to limit Dec 24 17,200,081 Statutory debt limit suspended Total public debt outstanding Dec 24 17,248,088 Operating balance June 29 93,893 Interest fiscal year 2014 through Nov 40,174 Interest same period 2013 47,959 Deficit fiscal year 2014 through Nov 226,819 Deficit same period 2013 292,107 Receipts fiscal year 2014 through Nov 381,380

Japan's Cabinet OKs record 95.88 tril. yen FY 2014 budget

Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a record-high 95.88 trillion yen ($922.22 billion) general-account budget for fiscal 2014, as the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe simultaneously seeks to conquer decades of deflation and restore the nation's precarious fiscal health. As expenditures for defense, public works projects and social security programs will increase, the country's policy spending will reach a record-high 72.61 trillion yen, up 2.24 trillion yen from the original budget in the previous year.

Japan's record budget spending highlights balancing act

By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday secured cabinet approval for a draft budget for the next fiscal year that aims to split the benefits of higher tax revenue between trimming fresh borrowing and stimulating the economy with record spending. The government's second annual budget since Abe's election triumph a year ago marks a balancing act between boosting growth and doing just enough to show it is keen to rein in public debt, which is more than twice the size of the economy.

Gov't, ruling bloc agree on 95.88 tri. yen budget for FY 2014

The government and the ruling bloc agreed Saturday that Japan's initial general-account budget for fiscal 2014 will total a record-high 95.88 trillion yen, up from 92.61 trillion yen the previous year. The move came after Finance Minister Taro Aso and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo agreed earlier in the day to cut outlays designed to bolster regional economies by 40 percent from fiscal 2013 to 610 billion yen in the draft state budget for the next fiscal year starting April.

Japan's CPI may gain 1.2% in FY 2014, excluding tax hike impact

Japan's consumer price index is likely to gain 1.2 percent in fiscal 2014, excluding the effects of the planned consumption tax hike in April, the government said Saturday, signaling an end to nearly two decades of deflation with the Bank of Japan maintaining its ultraeasy monetary policy. The government's price projection compares with the BOJ's latest forecast of a 1.3 percent rise for the year. Since introducing its massive monetary stimulus program in April, the central bank has been targeting 2 percent inflation in about two years.

Japan's FY 2014 budget to total record 95.9 tril. yen

Japan's initial general-account budget for fiscal 2014 will total a record-high 95.9 trillion yen ($918.7 billion), as expenditure for social security programs and public works projects will increase, government sources said Friday. With tax receipts expected to grow, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government will curb the new issuance of government bonds to 41.3 trillion yen, down about 1.6 trillion yen set under the initial state budget for fiscal 2013, the sources said.
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