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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Moves Into the Black for April
by Tom Moeller  May 12, 2014

The Federal Government posted a $106.9 billion budget surplus during April of FY 2014. The latest figure compared to expectations for a $114.0 surplus in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. In the first seven months of this fiscal year, the deficit totaled $306.4 billion compared to $487.6 billion last year. It was the smallest budget deficit during the first seven months of any fiscal year since 2008.

The April filing deadline for individual income tax returns boosted revenues by nearly one-third m/m, thus generating the monthly budget surplus. For the fiscal year-to-date, overall net revenues increased 8.2% y/y with the stronger economy. Corporate income taxes increased 15.0% y/y while the improved labor market raised social insurance taxes by 12.1% y/y. Individual income taxes increased a lesser 3.5% y/y and excise taxes were roughly unchanged y/y.

The smaller budget deficit in FY'14 also reflects a 2.4% y/y decline in net outlays versus last year. Outlays were led lower by a 5.2% y/y reduction in defense outlays, a 3.9% y/y falloff in interest payments and a 3.5% decline in income security payments with the lower unemployment rate. Working the other way, veterans benefits programs payments increased 10.7% y/y, health program outlays increased 9.8% y/y and social security payments rose a steady 4.7% y/y. Medicare outlays nudged 0.6% higher so far this fiscal year versus last.

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 Global Economy, the U.S. Economy, and the Federal Reserve's Monetary Policy from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is available here.

 US Government Finance Apr FY'13 FY'12 FY'11 FY'10
Budget Balance -- $106.853 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 3.5 16.3 3.7 21.5 -1.8
  Corporate Income Taxes 10 15.0 12.9 33.8 -5.4 38.5
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 12.1 12.1 3.2 -5.3 -2.9
  Excise Taxes 3 0.2 6.3 9.2 8.2 7.1
Net Outlays (Y/Y % Change) 100 -2.4 -2.4 -1.7 4.1 -1.8
  National Defense 18 -5.2 -6.3 -3.9 1.7 4.6
  Health 10 9.8 3.1 -7.0 1.0 10.4
  Medicare 14 0.6 5.5 -2.8 7.5 5.0
  Income Security 16 -3.5 -1.1 -9.1 -4.1 16.7
  Social Security 24 4.7 5.2 5.8 3.4 3.5
  Veterans Benefits 4 10.7 11.5 -2.0 17.3 13.6
  Interest 6 -3.9 0.4 -3.0 15.8 2.9
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