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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Deficit Deepens in May
by Tom Moeller  June 12, 2017

The U.S. Treasury Department reported that during May, the federal government ran an $88.4 billion budget deficit compared to a $52.5 billion deficit in May 2016. An $87.0 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. So far in FY'17, the federal government has run a $432.9 billion budget deficit, up 6.8% compared to a $405.4 billion deficit in the first eight months of FY'16.

Overall net revenues have improved 1.4% y/y so far in FY'17 after a 0.6% rise during FY'16. Individual income taxes increased 1.0% y/y following a 0.3% gain in all of FY'16. Social insurance contributions increased a fairly steady 5.1% y/y, while excise taxes fell another 4.0% y/y. Corporate income taxes increased 2.3% y/y following a 12.9% drop during all of FY'16.

Government spending has increased 2.3% so far in FY'17 compared to 4.5% growth during all of last year. Health insurance spending improved 5.5% y/y after a 6.0% rise, but Medicare outlays fell 1.9% y/y. Income security payments eased 2.4% y/y with lower unemployment, but Social Security payments increased a steady 3.0% y/y. National defense expenditures slipped 0.1% y/y so far in FY'17, while interest outlays strengthened 12.2% 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 May FY'16 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13
Budget Balance -- $-88.4 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 YTD 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 1.4% 0.6% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 1.0 0.3 10.5 5.9 16.3
  Corporate Income Taxes 9 2.3 -12.9 7.2 17.3 12.9
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 5.1 4.7 4.1 8.0 12.1
  Excise Taxes 3 -4.0 -3.3 5.3 11.1 6.3
Net Outlays  (Fiscal year 2017 YTD, Y/Y % Change) 100 2.3 4.5 5.3 1.4 -2.4
  National Defense 15 -0.1 0.7 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3
  Health 13 5.5 6.0 17.8 14.3 3.3
  Medicare 15 -1.9 8.8 6.7 2.8 5.5
  Income Security 13 -2.4 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 -2.3 9.3 6.8 7.7 11.5
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -4.9 -10.2 34.7 25.9 -21.9
  Interest 6 12.2 7.8 -1.8 2.8 0.4
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