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Economy in Brief

U.S. Year-to-Date Budget Deficit Is Smallest Since 2007
by Tom Moeller  January 13, 2014

The Federal Government ran a $53.2 billion budget surplus during December of FY 2014. The latest figure compares to the Action Economics Forecast Survey expectation of a $44.0 billion surplus. In the first three months of this fiscal year, the deficit total of $173.6 billion compares to $293.3 billion last year. It was the smallest budget deficit during the first three months of any fiscal year since 2007.

The smaller budget deficit this fiscal year reflects an 8.0% y/y rise in total revenues. The improved labor market generated a 24.5% y/y rise in social insurance receipts while corporate income taxes increased 10.8% y/y. Individual income taxes declined 1.9% y/y and excise taxes fell 4.3% y/y.

On the spending side net outlays fell 7.8% so far this fiscal year versus last led lower by a 14.6% y/y drop in interest payments. Defense outlays fell 7.0% y/y. Income security payments declined 4.1% y/y with the improvement in labor markets and Medicare payments slipped 0.5% y/y. To the upside this fiscal year, veterans benefits grew 7.6% y/y, Social Security outlays rose 4.8% y/y and outlays on health programs advanced 4.4% 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.

The Economic Outlook for 2014 from Dennis Lockhart, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta can be found here.

 US Government Finance Dec FY'13 FY'12 FY'11 FY'10
Budget Balance -- $53.2 bil. $-680.3 bil. $-1,089.2 bil. $-1,296.8 bil. $-1,294.2 bil.
  As a percent of GDP -- -- 4.1 6.8 8.4 8.8
% of Total YTD FY'14
Net Revenues (Y/Y % Change) 100 8.0% 13.3% 6.4% 6.5% 2.7%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 -1.9 16.3 3.7 21.5 -1.8
  Corporate Income Taxes 10 10.8 12.9 33.8 -5.4 38.5
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 24.5 12.1 3.2 -5.3 -2.9
  Excise Taxes 3 -4.3 6.3 9.2 8.2 7.1
Net Outlays (Y/Y % Change) 100 -7.8 -2.4 -1.7 4.1 -1.8
  National Defense 18 -7.0 -6.3 -3.9 1.7 4.6
  Health 10 4.4 3.1 -7.0 1.0 10.4
  Medicare 14 -0.5 5.5 -2.8 7.5 5.0
  Income Security 16 -4.1 -1.1 -9.1 -4.1 16.7
  Social Security 24 4.8 5.2 5.8 3.4 3.5
  Veterans Benefits 4 7.6 11.5 -2.0 17.3 13.6
  Interest 6 -14.6 0.4 -3.0 15.8 2.9
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