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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Deficit Doubles
by Tom Moeller  April 12, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a $108.0 billion budget deficit during March of 2016, roughly double the size of the $52.9 billion deficit twelve months earlier. A $94.0 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the first six months of FY'16 the deficit totaled $461.0 billion, up 4.9% versus the first six months of FY'15.

Overall revenues increased 4.0% so far in FY'16 versus the first six months of FY'15. The gain was pulled lower by a 7.7% y/y fall in corporate income tax payments, compared to 7.2% growth last year. Individual income taxes grew a diminished 5.2% y/y. Social insurance contributions increased 2.8% y/y while excise taxes edged 0.4% lower y/y.

Government spending increased 4.2% y/y so far in FY'16. Outlays on health programs gained 7.9% y/y with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Veterans Benefits & Services rose 6.1% y/y. Medicare payments increased 4.4% y/y while spending on Education, Training, Employment & Social Services similarly gained 4.4% y/y. Social Security benefits rose 3.6% y/y, but National Defense Spending edged just 0.1% higher y/y. Income security payments eased 0.1% y/y with the lower unemployment rate. Interest payments increased 18.2% 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 March 2016 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13 FY'12
Budget Balance -- -$108.0 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 4.0% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3% 6.4%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 5.2 10.5 5.9 16.3 3.7
  Corporate Income Taxes 11 -7.7 7.2 17.3 12.9 33.8
  Social Insurance Taxes 33 2.8 4.1 8.0 12.1 3.2
  Excise Taxes 3 -0.4 5.3 11.1 6.3 9.2
Net Outlays  (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 4.2 5.2 1.4 -2.4 -1.7
  National Defense 16 0.1 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3 -3.9
  Health 13 7.9 17.8 14.3 3.3 -7.0
  Medicare 15 4.4 6.7 2.8 5.5 -2.8
  Income Security 14 -0.1 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1 -9.1
  Social Security 24 3.6 4.4 4.5 5.2 5.8
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 6.1 6.8 7.7 11.5 -2.0
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 4.4 34.7 25.9 -21.9 -10.3
  Interest 6 18.2 -1.8 2.8 0.4 -3.0
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