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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Deficit - Tax Day 2005
by Tom Moeller April 18, 2005

Revenues from Tax Day (April 15th) for 2005 won't be tallied for another month, but the figures for the first half of FY 2005 indicate the U.S. Federal government's budget deficit lessened just $6.8B versus the first half of FY 2004. The scant improvement is off the pace needed to meet the latest CBO projection of a $365B deficit for FY 2005.

Growth in net receipts for the first six months of FY05 improved to 10.4%, more than triple the growth during the first six months of FY04. Individual tax receipts grew 8.5% versus a 1.2% decline in the first six months of FY04 and corporate tax receipts remained on a pace which doubled the year earlier level. Reflecting the improved job market, employment taxes grew 6.5% versus 1.3% growth last year.

Offsetting the improvement in revenue growth was steady, strong growth in federal outlays, about stable at 7.1% versus the first six months of 2005. Growth in Medicare outlays picked up to 9.5% versus 6.6% and social security outlays grew 5.4%, up from 4.2% in 2004. Veterans benefits grew 17.4%. These gains offset deceleration in defense spending which grew 7.3%, less than the year earlier rate but interest expense, up 9.1, started to grow again with higher rates.

An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2006 from the Congressional Budget Office is available here.

US Government Finance Mar Feb FY '05 - YTD FY2004 FY2003 FY2002
Budget Balance $-71.2B $-113.9B $-294.6B $-412.1B $-377.6B $-157.8B
  Net Revenues $148.7B $100.9B 10.4% 5.5% -3.8% -6.9%
  Net Outlays $220.0B $214.8B 7.1% 6.1% 7.4% 7.9%
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