Washington, D.C. – The federal budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2016 rose over the previous year, for the first time since 2011, showing that the recent trend of annual declines in deficits has ended.
The FY 2016 budget deficit was $587 billion, up $148 billion from the FY 2015 deficit, according to final figures from the Office of Management and Budget. Similarly, the Congressional Budget Office’s final monthly budget review for FY 2016 showed the increase was largely due to a combination of lower corporate income taxes ($44 billion below FY 2015 levels), increased spending on mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid ($77 billion above FY 2015 levels), and a shift of $41 billion in outlays that should have been spent in FY 2017 had October 1 not fallen on a weekend.
“The recent annual trend of declining deficits has officially ended,” Shai Akabas, director of fiscal policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said. “These final budget numbers for FY 2016 are yet another alarm that the next administration must take steps to both grow the economy and prevent deficits from rising unsustainably going forward.”