“By the end of 2021, federal debt held by the public is projected to equal 102 percent of GDP,” the CBO said in the report on Thursday. “Debt would reach 107 percent of GDP (surpassing its historical high) in 2031 and would almost double to 202 percent of GDP by 2051.”
At an estimated 10.3 percent of GDP, the annual federal government deficit in 2021 would be the second largest since 1945, exceeded only by the 14.9 percent shortfall recorded in 2020, the CBO said.
“In CBO’s projections, [annual] deficits decline as the effects of the 2020–2021 coronavirus pandemic wane. But they remain large by historical standards and begin to increase again during the latter half of the decade. Deficits increase further in subsequent decades, from 5.7 percent of GDP in 2031 to 13.3 percent by 2051,” the report said.
A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the US dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets, the report added.