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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Deficit Increases in March; Runs Deeper In First-Half FY'17
by Tom Moeller  April 12, 2017

The U.S. Treasury Department reported that during March, the federal government ran a $176.2 billion budget deficit compared to a $108.0 billion deficit in March 2016. A $150.0 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. So far in FY'17, the federal government has run a $526.9 billion budget deficit, up 14.7% compared to $459.4 billion in the first six months of FY'16.

Overall net revenues eased 0.2% during the first six months of FY'17 versus FY'16. Individual income taxes increased 3.1% y/y following a 0.3% rise in all of FY'16. Social insurance contributions increased a 4.7% y/y, while excise taxes fell 4.5% y/y. Corporate income taxes declined 17.8% y/y following a 12.9% drop during all of FY'16.

Government spending increased 3.3% y/y so far in FY'17 compared to 4.5% growth during all of last year. Health insurance spending improved 6.2% y/y and Medicare outlays rose 4.8% y/y. Social Security payments increased 3.0% y/y, but income security payments eased 0.7% y/y with lower unemployment. National defense expenditures inched 0.6% higher y/y so far in FY'17, while interest outlays strengthened 15.2% 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 FY'16 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13
Budget Balance -- $-176.2 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 -0.2% 0.6% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 3.1 0.3 10.5 5.9 16.3
  Corporate Income Taxes 9 -17.8 -12.9 7.2 17.3 12.9
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 4.7 4.7 4.1 8.0 12.1
  Excise Taxes 3 -4.5 -3.3 5.3 11.1 6.3
Net Outlays  (Fiscal year 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 3.3 4.5 5.3 1.4 -2.4
  National Defense 15 0.6 0.7 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3
  Health 13 6.2 6.0 17.8 14.3 3.3
  Medicare 15 4.8 8.8 6.7 2.8 5.5
  Income Security 13 -0.7 1.0 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1
  Social Security 24 3.0 3.2 4.4 4.5 5.2
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 3.3 9.3 6.8 7.7 11.5
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -5.1 -10.2 34.7 25.9 -21.9
  Interest 6 15.2 7.8 -1.8 2.8 0.4
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