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Economy in Brief

U.S. Federal Government Runs Budget Surplus in January
by Tom Moeller  February 10, 2022

• Revenues surge with stronger employment.

• Outlays fall with lessened income security payments.

• Interest payments surge.

The U.S. Treasury Department reported a federal budget surplus of $118.7 billion during January 2022 compared to a $162.8 billion deficit in January 2021. The last monthly budget surplus occurred in August 2019. Receipts declined 4.4% last month (+20.9% y/y) from December while outlays fell 31.8% (-36.7% y/y). Consensus expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey had been for a $35 billion surplus in January. So far in FY'22, the deficit has totaled $259.0 billion versus $735.7 billion in the first four months of FY'21.

Overall revenues have increased 27.7% y/y so far in FY'22. Individual income tax receipts increased 42.5% y/y as employment levels continued to rise. Corporate tax payments rose 31.5% as business earnings improved. Social insurance taxes rose 7.9% y/y and customs duties improved 34.6% y/y.

Federal government outlays have declined 7.7% year-to-date in FY'22. Income security payments declined 36.7% so far this year because of the absence of economic stimulus checks, which had been issued in 2021. National defense outlays declined 1.6% y/y so far in FY'22. Strengthening 54.2% y/y were education, training, employment & social services outlays. Outlays on health programs rose 18.8% y/y in the first four months of FY'22. Social Security outlays rose 4.7% so far this fiscal year and veteran benefits rose 8.7% y/y so far in FY'22. Medicare outlays rose 2.2% y/y so far this fiscal year. Interest payments have increased 21.1% y/y so far in FY'22.

Haver's data on Federal Government receipts & outlays are contained in USECON. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

United States Government Finance Jan FY'21 FY'20 FY'19 FY'18
Budget Balance (Billion $) -- $118.7 -$2,772.18 -$3,131.92 -$984.39 -$779.00
Fiscal YTD -- -259.0 -- -- -- --
% of Total (FY 2021)
Net Revenues (Fiscal Year YTD 2022, Y/Y % Change) 100 27.7 18.3 -1.2 4.0 0.4
  Individual Income Taxes 51 42.5 27.1 -6.4 2.0 6.1
  Corporate Income Taxes 9 31.5 75.5 -8.0 12.5 -31.1
  Social Insurance Taxes 32 7.9 0.3 5.4 6.2 0.8
  Customs Duties 2 34.6 16.7 -3.2 71.4 19.4
Net Outlays  (Fiscal Year YTD 2022, Y/Y % Change) 100 -7.7 4.1 47.3 8.2 3.2
  National Defense 11 -1.6 4.0 5.6 8.8 0.1
  Health 12 18.8 6.4 28.1 6.1 9.8
  Medicare 10 2.2 -10.3 19.2 10.6 -1.4
  Income Security 24 -36.7 30.6 145.0 3.9 -1.6
  Social Security 17 4.7 3.5 4.9 5.7 4.5
  Veterans Benefits & Services 3 8.7 7.1 9.3 11.9 1.3
  Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 4 54.2 25.3 75.5 43.7 -34.0
  Interest 5 21.1 2.2 -8.2 15.7 23.6
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