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Economy in Brief

U.S. Monthly Budget Deficit A Record
by Tom Moeller March 10, 2010

As the Federal government's February budget deficit reached a record $220.9B, the figure pulled the Fiscal YTD deficit to $651.6B which was larger than any past deficit for twelve months, except 2009.

Recession pulled net revenues during the first five months of FY'10 down 7.0% y/y. Individual income tax receipts fell 14.0% y/y through February reflecting higher unemployment. The rate of decline, however, is half that at the end of last year. Corporate tax receipts mirror the decline in profitability and fell 14.1%, though that rate of decline also eased sharply. Year-to-date, employment taxes fell a record 3.5% but unemployment insurance tax receipts rose a surprising 3.8%. Estate & gift taxes fell by one-third after an 18.6% decline during FY'09.

Overall outlays were boosted 16.8% during the first five months of FY'10 as Social Security payments (21% of outlays) rose 7.8% and net interest payments (5% of outlays) started to rise with higher rates. Medicare expenditures (12% of outlays) fell slightly but other health care services spending (10% of outlays) rose 21.3%. "Income security" spending (11% of outlays) jumped by one-quarter while defense spending (19% of total outlays) rose 2.9%.

The Government's financial data are available in Haver's USECON database, with extensive detail available in the specialized GOVFIN.· Fiscal Policy Choices is the title of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf's presentation to the National Association for Business Economics on Monday and it can be found   here

US Government Finance   February FY 'YTD FY 'YTD FY 2009 FY 2008 FY 2007
Budget Balance $-220.9B $-651.6B  $-651.6 $-1,417.1B $-454.8B $-161.5B
Net Revenues $107.5B $800.5B -7.0% -16.6% -1.7% 6.7%
Net Outlays $328.4B $1,452.1B 16.8% 18.2% 9.1% 2.8%
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