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US tax revenues are down and spending is up. The net result speaks for itself: U.S. Budget Gap Widened 77% in First Four Months of Fiscal Year.

The government ran a $310 billion deficit from October through January, compared with $176 billion during the same period a year earlier, a 77% increase, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

Federal outlays climbed $115 billion, or 9%, in the first four months of fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1, driven by higher spending on the military, veterans’ affairs and interest on the debt. Total receipts declined $19 billion, or 2%, due to weaker corporate and individual income-tax collection.

Part of the percentage increase in the deficit was attributable to a shift in the timing of certain payments, which made the deficit appear smaller in the first four months of fiscal year 2018, the Treasury said. If not for those timing shifts, the deficit would have risen 40.2% so far this fiscal year.

On a 12-month basis, government revenues declined 1.5%, while outlays have risen 4.4%. The budget deficit rose to $913.5 billion for the 12 months ended January, or 4.4% of gross domestic product.

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Comment of the Day

My award for comment of the day goes to Director Keith Hall of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

It’s hard to imagine this is sustainable,” said Keith Hall


Mike "Mish" Shedlock