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Economy in Brief

U.S. Government's Deficit-Spending Is Fairly Steady
by Tom Moeller  March 10, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a $192.6 billion budget deficit during February versus a $192.4 billion deficit twelve months earlier. A $205.5 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the first five months of FY 2016, the budget deficit totaled $353.0 billion versus a $386.6 billion deficit in the first five months of FY 2015.

Overall revenues increased 5.3% versus the first five months of FY'16. Individual income taxes grew 7.6% y/y and social insurance contributions advanced 4.2% y/y. Weaker business profitability lowered corporate receipts by 12.8% y/y while excise taxes eased 0.6%.

Government spending increased 1.9% y/y so far in FY'16. National defense spending declined 1.9% y/y and income security payments fell 2.7% y/y with the lower unemployment rate. Medicare payments were off 4.3% y/y. Outlays on health programs advanced 6.4% y/y with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. but veterans benefits & services payments declined 2.4% y/y. Social Security payments grew 3.9% and spending on education, training employment & social services programs improved 7.6% y/y. Interest payments grew 12.4% y/y.

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.

United States Government Finance February 2016 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13 FY'12
Budget Balance -- -$192.6 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 5.3% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3% 6.4%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 7.6 10.5 5.9 16.3 3.7
  Corporate Income Taxes 11 -12.8 7.2 17.3 12.9 33.8
  Social Insurance Taxes 33 4.2 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 1.9 5.2 1.4 -2.4 -1.7
  National Defense 16 -1.9 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3 -3.9
  Health 13 6.4 17.8 14.3 3.3 -7.0
  Medicare 15 -4.3 6.7 2.8 5.5 -2.8
  Income Security 14 -2.7 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1 -9.1
  Social Security 24 3.9 4.4 4.5 5.2 5.8
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 -2.4 6.8 7.7 11.5 -2.0
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 7.6 34.7 25.9 -21.9 -10.3
  Interest 6 12.4 -1.8 2.8 0.4 -3.0
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