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Treasury Data Reaffirm Deficit Climbing Rapidly

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Washington, D.C.– The federal deficit so far for Fiscal Year 2018 reached $532 billion in May, which is 23 percent higher than the same period last year, according to monthly data released today by the Treasury Department. The total deficit remains on track to reach roughly $800 billion for the year.

In the month of May alone, the federal government ran a monthly budget deficit of $147 billion, which was 67 percent higher than the deficit in May 2017, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Key drivers of the year-over-year deficit increase through May included:

  • Gross interest spending rose 12 percent to $318 billion, a $33 billion increase relative to 2017
  • Corporate tax revenues fell 25 percent to $124 billion, a $42 billion decrease from 2017
  • Federal spending, excluding interest payments, increased 5 percent to $2.4 trillion, a $122 billion increase relative to 2017, driven in large part by increased spending on health care and defense programs

“Nine years into our economic recovery from the Great Recession, it is indefensible that we allow the deficit to grow unabated,” Shai Akabas, BPC director of economic policy, said. “These growing deficits are not a surprise, we have been warning about them for years.”

BPC analysts have predicted since last year that deficits would surge as a result of tax cuts, increased spending, and growing imbalances in some of the government’s largest programs. In April, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed this forecast.

“The latest Treasury data show once again that the U.S. fiscal situation is headed down an unsustainable path with trillion-dollar deficits just around the corner,” Akabas said.

“Growing deficits will harm the U.S. economy and must be reined in, or we will be forced to deal with the fallout for years to come.”

Follow BPC’s Deficit Tracker, which is updated every month.

KEYWORDS: CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, SHAI AKABAS