The U.S. posted its largest budget deficit since 2013 in the fiscal year that just ended, as a pickup in spending exceeded revenue gains.
The federal government’s gap grew to $665.7 billion in the 12 months through Sept. 30, compared with a $585.6 billion shortfall in fiscal 2016, the Treasury Department said Oct. 20 in a report released in Washington. That was in line with the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of $668 billion.
Congress could be on track to worsen the deficit situation, according to most economic growth assumptions. The Senate on Thursday night approved a budget resolution that would fast-track up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts through Congress this year.
Republicans say that the cuts will pay for themselves through faster economic growth. While the budget claims to reach a balance in 10 years through $5 trillion in spending cuts, those reductions are not spelled out and there is no mechanism for speeding them into law.
In the 2017 fiscal year, tax revenue totaled $3.31 trillion compared with $3.27 trillion a year earlier. Government spending was $3.98 trillion after $3.85 trillion in fiscal 2016.
For September, which is the final month in the fiscal calendar, the government reported an $8 billion surplus. That was lower than the $33.4 billion surplus a year earlier.
With assistance by Catarina Saraiva