February 13, 2020

SUSTAINABILITY: U.S. Budget Deficit Grew 25% in First Four Months of Fiscal 2020 on Calendar Quirk.

The U.S. budget gap totaled $389 billion from October through January, compared with $310 billion in the same period a year earlier, the U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday. Federal outlays rose 10%, to $1.6 trillion, and federal tax receipts grew 6%, to $1.2 trillion—both record highs for the four-month period.

Spending rose sharply because Feb. 1, the date on which certain benefits are paid, fell on a Saturday, shifting those payments into January. If not for that shift, the deficit would have been only 6% larger, and receipts and outlays each would have risen 7%.

As a share of gross domestic product, year-over-year deficits were 4.9%, compared with 4.3% in the previous 12 months. That was the highest deficit/GDP ratio since May 2013, when the unemployment rate was 7.5% and real GDP grew just 0.12% from the previous quarter.

Meanwhile: Without a budget, how will Democrats communicate their fiscal priorities?

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