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CORRECTED-U.S. debt to hit nearly twice GDP by 2050 -CBO

(Corrects 2050 deficit to GDP projection to 12.6% of GDP from 17.5%)

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - U.S. federal debt held by the public will balloon to about 195% of the country’s economic output in 2050, from about 98% at the end of 2020 and 79% in 2019, the Congressional Budget Office projected on Monday.

The CBO, in its annual Long Term Budget Outlook, said that increased federal government spending associated with the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growth of U.S. budget deficits and debt.

The nonpartisan budget referee agency said that the 2020 deficit is projected at 16% of U.S. GDP, and the share will fall for several years, but will begin rising sharply again by 2028.

By 2050, the annual deficit is projected at 12.6% of GDP as a result of higher interest costs and higher spending on health care programs and Social Security, CBO said. (Reporting by David Lawder Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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