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Economy in Brief

U.S. Runs a $136.7 billion Budget Deficit in November
by Tom Moeller  December 12, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Department reported that during November, the federal government ran a budget deficit of $136.7 billion. A $125.0 billion deficit had expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. So far in FY'17, the federal government ran a $180.8 billion budget deficit compared to $201.1 billion in the first two months of FY'16.

Overall revenues increased 1.3% so far in FY'17 versus FY'16. Individual income taxes rose 5.2% y/y following a 0.3% rise in all of FY'16. Social insurance contributions increased 1.6% y/y, down from the FY'16 4.7% gain, while excise taxes fell 1.6% y/y, less than last year's 3.3% fall. Corporate income taxes declined by nearly two-thirds y/y following a 12.9% drop.

Government spending declined 2.4% y/y so far in FY'17 compared to 4.5% growth during all of last year. Medicare outlays declined 17.8% y/y after 8.8% growth in FY'16, and Income Security Program payments fell 11.2% y/y after a 1.0% rise. National Defense spending also was down by 3.7% y/y, continuing the weakness of the last several years. To the upside was spending on Health programs which grew by 5.2% y/y after 6.0% growth in FY'16. Social Security outlays also rose by 3.3% so far in FY'17, about the same as in FY'16. Spending on Education, Training, Employment & Social Services declined 18.6% y/y, while spending on Veterans Benefits & Services fell 21.9% y/y. Interest payments increased 17.5% in so far in FY'17 following 7.8% growth 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.

United States Government Finance November FY'16 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13
Budget Balance -- $-136.7 bil. $-587.4 bil. $-438.9 bil. $-483.4 bil. $-680.2 bil.
  As a percent of GDP -- 3.2% 2.5% 2.8% 4.1%
% of Total
Net Revenues (Fiscal Year 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 1.3% 0.6% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 5.2 0.3 10.5 5.9 16.3
  Corporate Income Taxes 9 -63.2 -12.9 7.2 17.3 12.9
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 1.6 4.7 4.1 8.0 12.1
  Excise Taxes 3 -1.6 -3.3 5.3 11.1 6.3
Net Outlays  (Fiscal year 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 -2.4 4.5 5.3 1.4 -2.4
  National Defense 15 -3.7 0.7 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3
  Health 13 5.2 6.0 17.8 14.3 3.3
  Medicare 15 -17.8 8.8 6.7 2.8 5.5
  Income Security 13 -11.2 1.0 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1
  Social Security 24 3.3 3.2 4.4 4.5 5.2
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 -21.9 9.3 6.8 7.7 11.5
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -18.6 -10.2 34.7 25.9 -21.9
  Interest 6 17.5 7.8 -1.8 2.8 0.4
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