posted on 09 September 2015
August 2015 CBO Monthly Budget Review: Estimated Deficit $62 Billion. Continued Decline In Military Spending
from the Congressional Budget Office
The federal government's budget deficit amounted to $528 billion for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015, CBO estimates. That deficit was $61 billion smaller than the one recorded during the same period last year. Revenues and outlays were both higher than last year's amounts, by 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Adjusted for shifts in the timing of certain payments (which otherwise would have fallen on a weekend), the deficit for the 11-month period decreased by $42 billion.
In its most recent budget projections, CBO estimated that the deficit for fiscal year 2015 (which will end on September 30, 2015) would total $426 billion, about $59 billion less than the shortfall in fiscal year 2014.
Total Receipts: Up by 8 Percent in the First 11 Months of Fiscal Year 2015
Receipts through August of this fiscal year totaled $2,884 billion, CBO estimates—$215 billion (or 8 percent) more than they did during same period last year. The largest increases in receipts were in the following categories:
Individual income taxes and payroll (social insurance) taxes together rose by $182 billion (or 8 percent). o Increases in amounts withheld from workers' paychecks—$116 billion (or 6 percent)—accounted for the bulk of that gain. Growth in wages and salaries probably explains the increase in withheld receipts. Nonwithheld receipts rose by $72 billion (or 16 percent), reflecting payments made for both the 2014 and 2015 tax years. Most of those payments were for individual income taxes and probably reflect growth in nonwage income. Income tax refunds rose by $2 billion (or 1 percent), slightly offsetting those increases. o Receipts from unemployment insurance taxes, which are one kind of payroll tax, were down by $4 billion (or 7 percent), also slightly offsetting those increases.
Receipts from corporate income taxes rose by $22 billion (or 9 percent), probably reflecting higher taxable profits in calendar years 2014 and 2015. Receipts since April— largely representing corporations' first two quarterly payments of estimated taxes for the 2015 tax year—increased by $7 billion (or 6 percent).
Total Outlays: Up by 5 Percent in the First 11 Months of Fiscal Year 2015
Outlays for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2015 were $198 billion higher than they were during the same period last year, CBO estimates. But the spending this year was boosted by shifts of certain payments from August to July (because August 1 fell on a weekend). If not for those shifts, outlays would have been $155 billion (or 5 percent) higher so far this year. (The discussion below reflects adjustments to account for the timing shifts.)
Outlays for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015 were $153 billion higher than they were during the same period last year, CBO estimates. That increase would have been larger—$172 billion (but still about 5 percent)—if not for the shift of certain payments from September 2014 to August 2014. (The discussion below reflects adjustments to account for those timing shifts.) Outlays in several major categories increased:
The spending increases during the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015 were partially offset by reductions in outlays for some other major components of the budget, CBO estimates, including the following:
Estimated Deficit in August 2015: $62 Billion
The federal government incurred a deficit of $62 billion in August 2015, CBO estimates—$66 billion less than the deficit in August 2014. If not for the aforementioned shifts in payments from September 2014 to August 2014, as well as shifts in payments from August 2015 to July 2015, the deficit for this August would have been $4 billion less than last August's.
CBO estimates that receipts in August totaled $211 billion—$17 billion (or 9 percent) more than the amount a year ago. Receipts from individual income taxes and payroll taxes rose by $16 billion (or 9 percent), nearly all of which came from increases in the amounts withheld from workers' paychecks.
Total spending in August 2015 was $274 billion, CBO estimates—$49 billion less than the sum in August 2014. Adjusted for timing shifts, outlays in August were $13 billion (or 4 percent) more than they were in the same month last year. (The changes discussed below reflect adjustments to account for those shifts.) Among the larger changes in outlays were the following:
Actual Deficit in July 2015: $149 Billion
The Treasury Department reported a deficit of $149 billion for July—about the same as CBO estimated, on the basis of the Daily Treasury Statements, in the Monthly Budget Review for July 2015.
This document was prepared by Elizabeth Cove Delisle, Nathaniel Frentz, Dawn Sauter Regan, and Joshua Shakin.
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