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Here is an article from Reuters.

“The U.S. debt will top $13.6 trillion this year and climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015, according to a Treasury Department report to Congress.

The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.

“The president’s economic experts say a 1 percent increase in GDP can create almost 1 million jobs, and that 1 percent is what experts think we are losing because of the debt’s massive drag on our economy,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp, who publicized the report.

He was referring to recent testimony by University of Maryland Professor Carmen Reinhart to the bipartisan fiscal commission, which was created by President Barack Obama to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, which said debt topping 90 percent of GDP could slow economic growth.

The U.S. debt has grown rapidly with the economic downturn and government spending for the Wall Street bailout, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic stimulus. The rising debt is contributing to voter unrest ahead of the November congressional elections in which Republicans hope to regain control of Congress.

The total U.S. debt includes obligations to the Social Security retirement program and other government trust funds. The amount of debt held by investors, which include China and other countries as well as individuals and pension funds, will rise to an estimated $9.1 trillion this year from $7.5 trillion last year.

By 2015 the net public debt will rise to an estimated $14 trillion, with a ratio to GDP of 73 percent, the Treasury report said.”

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Here is a goo Bloomberg article.

“Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) — The first 12 months of the U.S. recession saw the economy shrink more than twice as much as previously estimated, reflecting even bigger declines in consumer spending and housing, revised figures showed.

The world’s largest economy contracted 1.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the last three months of 2008, compared with the 0.8 percent drop previously on the books, the Commerce Department said yesterday in Washington. Gross domestic product has shrunk 3.9 percent in the past year, the report said, indicating the worst slump since the Great Depression.

Updated statistics also showed that Americans earned more over the last 10 years and socked away a larger share of that cash in savings. The report signals the process of repairing tattered balance sheets following the biggest drop in household wealth on record may be further along than anticipated.

“The current downturn beginning in 2008 is more pronounced,” Steven Landefeld, director of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, said in a press briefing this week. The revisions were in line with past experience in which initial figures tended to underestimate the severity of contractions during their early stages, he said.

Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, decreased 1.8 percent in last year’s fourth quarter from the same period in 2007, exceeding the prior estimate of a 1.5 percent drop. Purchases also began sinking sooner than previously projected, registering their first decline at the start of 2008 rather than in the second half.

Treasuries, Stocks

Treasuries gained after the GDP report, while stocks closed little changed. Benchmark 10-year note yields dropped to 3.48 percent by the close in New York, from 3.61 percent late the day before. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index closed at 987.48.

Residential construction fell 21 percent during the period, almost 2 percentage points more than previously reported, aggravating what was already the worst slump since the Great Depression.

The Commerce Department also reported yesterday that the economy contracted at a 1 percent annual rate from April through June after shrinking at a 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, the most since 1982. The decline in the first three months of the year was previously reported as 5.5 percent.

Recession’s Start

The National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of U.S. business cycles, last year determined the recession started in December 2007. The private group is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts,

Yesterday’s updates are part of comprehensive revisions that take place about every five years and are more extensive than the changes announced at this time each year. Figures as far back as 1929 can be revised.

Over the most recent period, the third quarter of 2008 underwent one of the biggest changes, going from a 0.5 percent decrease in GDP to a 2.7 percent drop. The new reading better illustrates the effect the September collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. had on the economy and credit markets.”

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