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Economy in Brief

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

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a Federal budget deficit of $107.1 billion during August. That compared to a $64.4 billion deficit in August of last year. A $100 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. So far in FY'16, the federal government's budget deficit totaled $620.8 billion, up 17.1% versus $530.0 billion in the first eleven months of FY'15.

Overall revenues improved 0.9% y/y so far in FY'16 versus the first eleven months of FY'15. The total was pulled lower by a 13.2% y/y decline in corporate income tax payments, compared to 7.2% growth in 2015. Individual income taxes rose 0.5% y/y following last year's 10.5% rise. Social insurance contributions increased 4.5% y/y while excise taxes fell 3.0% y/y.

Government spending increased 3.4% y/y so far in FY'16 compared to 5.2% growth last year. Outlays on health programs gained 4.9% y/y and Medicare payments also rose 4.9% y/y. Social Security benefits increased 3.2% y/y and Veterans payments grew 5.2% y/y. To the downside, income security program payments eased 0.4% y/y with lower unemployment. National Defense spending fell 0.2% y/y, continuing the declines of the last several years.  Spending on Education, Training, Employment & Social Services declined 8.4% y/y. Interest payments increased 9.8% so far this fiscal year versus 2015.

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 August 2016 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13 FY'12
Budget Balance -- -$107.1 bil. -$438.9 bil. -$483.4 bil. -$680.2 bil. -$1,089.2 bil.
  As a percent of GDP -- 3.4% ytd 2.5% 2.8% 4.1% 6.8%
% of Total
Net Revenues (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 0.9% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3% 6.4%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 0.5 10.5 5.9 16.3 3.7
  Corporate Income Taxes 11 -13.2 7.2 17.3 12.9 33.8
  Social Insurance Taxes 33 4.5 4.1 8.0 12.1 3.2
  Excise Taxes 3 -3.0 5.3 11.1 6.3 9.2
Net Outlays  (Fiscal YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 3.4 5.2 1.4 -2.4 -1.7
  National Defense 15 -0.2 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3 -3.9
  Health 13 4.9 17.8 14.3 3.3 -7.0
  Medicare 15 4.9 6.7 2.8 5.5 -2.8
  Income Security 13 -0.4 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1 -9.1
  Social Security 24 3.2 4.4 4.5 5.2 5.8
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 5.2 6.8 7.7 11.5 -2.0
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -8.4 34.7 25.9 -21.9 -10.3
  Interest 6 9.8 -1.8 2.8 0.4 -3.0
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