Budget deficit swells to $90 billion in June
WASHINGTON — The federal budget deficit rose sharply in June compared with a year ago, although much of the increase reflected calendar quirks.
The Treasury Department said Thursday that the June deficit totaled $90.2 billion compared with a surplus in June 2016 of $6.3 billion. However, outlays grew by $39 billion this year compared with the same period a year ago because benefit payments that normally would have been distributed in July were made in June since July 1 fell on a Saturday.
Through the first nine months of the current budget year, which began Oct. 1, the federal budget deficit totaled $523.1 billion, up from a deficit of $399.2 billion during the same period a year ago.
Last month, the Congressional Budget Office released an updated forecast that projected the federal budget deficit for this year will reach $693 billion. That represented a sharp increase of $134 billion from the budget office’s January forecast. The federal deficit in 2016 totaled $585.6 billion.
The Congressional Budget Office blamed much of this year’s projected increase on the fact that the government is collecting less money in tax revenue than had been expected.
So far this budget year, revenue has totaled $2.51 trillion, up 1.6 percent compared with the same eight months last year. Government spending over the same period has grown by 5.7 percent, reaching $3 trillion.
Accumulating budget deficits add to the overall federal debt, which totaled more than $19.84 trillion as of Wednesday. That figure includes more than $5 trillion the government owes itself, mostly from borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund.
Facing the prospect of a government shutdown, Congress has an Oct. 1 deadline to approve a budget for the next fiscal year. However, lawmakers are expected to pass a stopgap spending measure to buy time to iron out differences.
In addition, the budget office has said that Congress will need to increase the government’s borrowing limit by mid-October to avoid defaulting on payments on the national debt.