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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Improves Meaningfully
by Tom Moeller  May 10, 2013

The Federal Government ran a budget surplus during April of FY'13 of $112.9B, twice the surplus during April of last year. The figure slightly exceeded consensus expectations for a surplus of $95.0B. So far this fiscal year the deficit has totaled $487.6B, down from $720.0B during the first seven months of FY'12.

The economy's improvement helped net revenues lead the deficit shrinkage with a strong 15.9% rise this fiscal year versus last. That's been driven by a 20.0% y/y gain in individual income taxes and a 21.4% y/y rise in corporate income tax payments. Social insurance payments jumped an accelerated 10.6% y/y while excise taxes grew 8.4% y/y.

The 0.6% y/y year-to-date decline in outlays was paced by a 4.9% decline in defense expenditures. Medicare payments rose 11.7% y/y and veterans benefits grew 11.5%. Social security benefits rose 5.5% this fiscal year versus last but income security outlays were roughly unchanged y/y with the lower unemployment rate. The gain in health outlays also was a moderate 3.5% y/y.

Haver's basic data on Federal Government outlays and receipts, and summary presentations of the Budget from both OMB and CBO are contained in USECON. Considerable detail is given in the separate GOVFIN database.

Monitoring the Financial System is the title of today's speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it can be found here.

US Government Finance Apr FY'12 FY'11 FY'10 FY'09
Budget Balance -- $112.9B $-1,089B $-1,298.7B $-1,294.2B $-1,415.7B
  As a percent of GDP -- -- 7.0 8.6 8.0 9.5
% of Total YTD FY'13
Net Revenues (Y/Y % Change) 100 15.9% 6.4% 6.5% 2.7% -16.6%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 20.0 3.7 21.5 -1.8 -20.1
  Corporate Income Taxes 8 21.4 33.8 -5.4 38.5 -54.6
  Social Insurance Taxes 36 10.6 3.2 -5.3 -2.9 -1.0
  Excise Taxes 3 8.4 9.2 8.2 7.1 -7.2
Net Outlays (Y/Y % Change) 100 -0.6 -1.7 4.1 -1.8 18.2
  National Defense 20 -4.9 -3.6 1.7 4.6 7.6
  Health 10 3.5 -7.0 1.0 10.4 19.1
  Medicare 20 11.7 -2.8 7.5 5.0 10.1
  Income Security 17 0.3 -9.2 -4.1 16.7 24.9
  Social Security 20 5.5 5.8 3.4 3.5 10.7
  Veterans Benefits 4 11.5 -2.0 17.3 13.6 12.7
  Interest 6 1.4 -2.1 15.8 2.9 -24.6
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