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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Deficit Deepens
by Tom Moeller  January 13, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a $14.4 billion budget deficit during December, reversing the $1.9 billion surplus twelve months earlier. A $3.5 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Overall revenues increased 3.5% versus the first three months of FY'15, pulled lower by a 12.5% y/y drop in corporate income tax payments. The decline compares to 7.2% growth last year and reflects the developing pressure on corporate profitability. Individual income taxes grew a moderate 4.1% y/y. Social insurance contributions advanced 5.3% y/y while excise taxes nudged 0.6% higher y/y.

Government spending advanced 7.1% y/y so far in FY'16, the quickest growth since early-2015. Social security payments surged 16.4% y/y while outlays on health programs advanced 7.9% y/y with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Medicare payments also grew a firm 4.6% y/y while veterans benefits & services payments advanced 11.2% y/y. Income security payments declined 1.5% y/y with the lower unemployment rate and outlays on education, training employment & social services programs fell 5.7% y/y. Interest payments grew 3.5% y/y following declines through most of last year.

Haver's data on Federal Government outlays and receipts are contained in USECON. Considerable detail is given in the separate GOVFIN database. The Action Economics Forecast Survey numbers are in the AS1REPNA database.

The Fed's latest Beige Book covering regional economic conditions can be found here.

United States Government Finance Dec. 2015 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13 FY'12
Budget Balance -- -$14.4 bil. -$438.9 bil. -$483.4 bil. -$680.2 bil. -$1,089.2 bil.
  As a percent of GDP -- -- 2.5 2.8 4.1 6.8
% of Total
Net Revenues (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 3.5% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3% 6.4%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 4.1 10.5 5.9 16.3 3.7
  Corporate Income Taxes 11 -12.5 7.2 17.3 12.9 33.8
  Social Insurance Taxes 33 5.3 4.1 8.0 12.1 3.2
  Excise Taxes 3 0.6 5.3 11.1 6.3 9.2
Net Outlays  (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 7.1 5.2 1.4 -2.4 -1.7
  National Defense 16 -0.2 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3 -3.9
  Health 13 7.9 17.8 14.3 3.3 -7.0
  Medicare 15 4.6 6.7 2.8 5.5 -2.8
  Income Security 14 -1.5 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1 -9.1
  Social Security 24 16.4 4.4 4.5 5.2 5.8
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 11.2 6.8 7.7 11.5 -2.0
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -5.7 34.7 25.9 -21.9 -10.3
  Interest 6 3.5 -1.8 2.8 0.4 -3.0
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