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Economy in Brief

U.S. Budget Surplus Grows in April
by Tom Moeller  May 10, 2017

The U.S. Treasury Department reported that during April, the federal government ran a $182.4 billion budget surplus compared to a $106.5 billion surplus in April 2016. A $170.0 billion surplus had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. An April surplus typically is run due to income tax filings. So far in FY'17, the federal government has run a $344.4 billion budget deficit, down 2.4% compared to a $352.9 billion deficit in the first seven months of FY'16.

Overall net revenues improved 0.7% y/y so far in FY'17, about the same as in all of FY'16. Individual income taxes increased 0.4% y/y following a 0.3% rise in all of FY'16. Social insurance contributions increased a fairly steady 5.1% y/y, while excise taxes fell 7.5% y/y. Corporate income taxes increased 1.5% y/y following a 12.9% drop during all of FY'16.

Government spending edged 0.2% higher y/y so far in FY'17 compared to 4.5% growth during all of last year. Health insurance spending improved 5.0% y/y, but Medicare outlays fell 9.3% y/y. Income security payments eased 5.3% y/y with lower unemployment, but Social Security payments increased 3.0% y/y. National defense expenditures declined 2.1% y/y so far in FY'17, while interest outlays strengthened 16.4% y/y.

Haver's data on Federal Government outlays and receipts are contained in USECON. Considerable detail is given in the separate GOVFIN database. The Action Economics Forecast Survey numbers are in the AS1REPNA database.

United States Government Finance April FY'16 FY'15 FY'14 FY'13
Budget Balance -- $182.4 bil. $-587.4 bil. $-438.9 bil. $-483.4 bil. $-680.2 bil.
  As a percent of GDP -- -- 3.2% 2.5% 2.8% 4.1%
% of Total
Net Revenues (Fiscal Year 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 0.7% 0.6% 7.6% 8.9% 13.3%
  Individual Income Taxes 47 0.4 0.3 10.5 5.9 16.3
  Corporate Income Taxes 9 1.5 -12.9 7.2 17.3 12.9
  Social Insurance Taxes 34 5.1 4.7 4.1 8.0 12.1
  Excise Taxes 3 -7.5 -3.3 5.3 11.1 6.3
Net Outlays  (Fiscal year 2017, Y/Y % Change) 100 0.2 4.5 5.3 1.4 -2.4
  National Defense 15 -2.1 0.7 -2.3 -4.7 -6.3
  Health 13 5.0 6.0 17.8 14.3 3.3
  Medicare 15 -9.3 8.8 6.7 2.8 5.5
  Income Security 13 -5.3 1.0 -0.9 -4.3 -1.1
  Social Security 24 3.0 3.2 4.4 4.5 5.2
  Veterans Benefits & Services 4 -9.9 9.3 6.8 7.7 11.5
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3 -5.0 -10.2 34.7 25.9 -21.9
  Interest 6 16.4 7.8 -1.8 2.8 0.4
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