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Economy in Brief

U.S. Fiscal 'YTD Budget Deficit Narrows
by Tom Moeller May 13, 2010

The Federal government's April budget balance totaled $-82.7B which was four times the April '09 deficit. Nevertheless, the Fiscal 'YTD deficit narrowed to $799.7B and was somewhat smaller than the FY'09 deficit of $802.3B.

Though the recession ended, net revenues during the first seven months of FY'10 still fell 4.5% y/y. Individual income tax receipts fell 11.6% y/y as the unemployment rate remained elevated. The rate of decline, however, is down from the peak 29.0% at the end of last year. Corporate tax receipts firmed by 8.9% versus the first seven months of last fiscal year with improved corporate profits. Year-to-date, employment taxes fell 4.8% (just lightly off the peak rate of decline) but unemployment insurance tax receipts improved by 12.3% versus the first seven months of last fiscal year. Estate & gift taxes fell by nearly one-quarter this fiscal year.

Overall outlays fell 2.9% so far this fiscal year versus FY'09 as a commerce & housing credit expired. Social Security payments (21% of outlays) rose 6.7% and net interest payments (5% of outlays) rose 7.9% with higher rates. Medicare expenditures (12% of outlays) rose 11.0% and other health care services spending (10% of outlays) rose 12.4%. "Income security" spending (11% of outlays) continued to jump by one-quarter while defense spending (19% of total outlays) rose 7.8%.

The Government's financial data are available in Haver's USECON database, with extensive detail available in the specialized GOVFIN.

True Legislators Becoming Scarce in Congress from the American Enterprise Institute can be found here.

US Government Finance   April FY 'YTD FY 'YTD FY 2009 FY 2008 FY 2007
Budget Balance $-82.7B $-799.7B  -- $-1,417.1B $-454.8B $-161.5B
Net Revenues $245.3B $1,199.2B -4.5% -16.6% -1.7% 6.7%
Net Outlays $328.0B $1,998.8B -2.9% 18.2% 9.1% 2.8%
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