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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Surplus Shrinks
by Tom Moeller  May 11, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a $106.5 billion budget surplus during April of 2016, smaller than the $156.7 billion surplus twelve months earlier. A $112.5 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During the first seven months of FY'16, the budget deficit totaled $354.6 billion versus $282.8 billion in the first seven months of FY'15.

Overall revenues increased 1.2% so far in FY'16 versus the first seven months of FY'15. The gain was pulled lower by a 10.1% y/y fall in corporate income tax payments, compared to 7.2% growth in 2015. Individual income taxes grew a diminished 1.2% y/y. Social insurance contributions increased 2.1% y/y while excise taxes edged 0.8% lower y/y.

Government spending increased 4.4% y/y so far in FY'16. Medicare payments strengthened 11.3% y/y. Outlays on health programs gained 7.3% y/y with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Veterans Benefits & Services rose 12.4% y/y. Social Security benefits rose 3.5% y/y while income security payments increased 2.0% y/y. National Defense Spending edged just 0.4% higher y/y. Spending on Education, Training, Employment & Social Services gained 2.4% y/y. Interest payments increased 12.5% 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 April 2016 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13 FY'12
Budget Balance -- $106.5 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 1.2% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3% 6.4%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 1.2 10.5 5.9 16.3 3.7
  Corporate Income Taxes 11 -10.1 7.2 17.3 12.9 33.8
  Social Insurance Taxes 33 2.1 4.1 8.0 12.1 3.2
  Excise Taxes 3 -0.8 5.3 11.1 6.3 9.2
Net Outlays  (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 4.4 5.2 1.4 -2.4 -1.7
  National Defense 16 0.4 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3 -3.9
  Health 13 7.3 17.8 14.3 3.3 -7.0
  Medicare 15 11.3 6.7 2.8 5.5 -2.8
  Income Security 14 2.0 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1 -9.1
  Social Security 24 3.5 4.4 4.5 5.2 5.8
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 12.4 6.8 7.7 11.5 -2.0
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 2.4 34.7 25.9 -21.9 -10.3
  Interest 6 12.5 -1.8 2.8 0.4 -3.0
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