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Economy in Brief

U.S. Year-to-Date Budget Deficit Continues To Shrink
by Tom Moeller  February 12, 2014

The Federal Government ran a $10.4 billion budget deficit during January of FY 2014. The latest figure compares to the Action Economics Forecast Survey expectation of a $30.0 billion deficit. In the first four months of this fiscal year, the deficit total of $184.0 billion compares to $290.4 billion last year. It was the smallest budget deficit during the first four months of any fiscal year since 2008.

The smaller budget deficit so far this fiscal year reflects an 8.2% y/y rise in total revenues. The improved labor market generated a 13.8% y/y rise in social insurance receipts while corporate income taxes increased 10.2% y/y. Individual income taxes increased 1.6% y/y and excise taxes fell 2.5% y/y.

On the spending side net outlays fell 2.8% so far this fiscal year versus last year. Outlays were led lower by a 9.5% y/y falloff in interest payments and a 5.7% y/y drop in defense outlays. Income security payments were unchanged y/y. Social security payments rose 4.8% y/y and spending on health programs gained 5.5% y/y. Medicare outlays increased 11.1% y/y while veterans benefits advanced 22.0% 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.

When Will the Fed End Its Zero Rate Policy? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

 US Government Finance Jan FY'13 FY'12 FY'11 FY'10
Budget Balance -- $-10.4 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 8.2% 13.3% 6.4% 6.5% 2.7%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 1.6 16.3 3.7 21.5 -1.8
  Corporate Income Taxes 10 10.2 12.9 33.8 -5.4 38.5
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 13.8 12.1 3.2 -5.3 -2.9
  Excise Taxes 3 -2.5 6.3 9.2 8.2 7.1
Net Outlays (Y/Y % Change) 100 -2.8 -2.4 -1.7 4.1 -1.8
  National Defense 18 -5.7 -6.3 -3.9 1.7 4.6
  Health 10 5.5 3.1 -7.0 1.0 10.4
  Medicare 14 11.1 5.5 -2.8 7.5 5.0
  Income Security 16 0.0 -1.1 -9.1 -4.1 16.7
  Social Security 24 4.8 5.2 5.8 3.4 3.5
  Veterans Benefits 4 22.0 11.5 -2.0 17.3 13.6
  Interest 6 -9.5 0.4 -3.0 15.8 2.9
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