First, the good news: The federal government brought in a smidge (in budget terms) more than it spent in June, about $6.3 billion more. Now, the bad news: That cut the year-to-date deficit with three months left in the fiscal year to, um, $400.8 billion.
Those figures come from the June Treasury Department budget statement issued July 13, and came in slightly worse than the Congressional Budget Office had been expecting.
The CBO issues its own monthly projection around the fifth working day of each month, and its projections are usually within a few billion dollars of the Treasury’s own numbers, which are released around the eighth working day of the month. This time, though, the CBO miss was a bit larger than usual.
The CBO had said it expected a June budget surplus of about $10 billion, which would have brought the year-to-date shortfall up just short of $400, at $397 billion. In the first nine months of fiscal 2015, the deficit was $316.4 billion.
The new Treasury figures show that the final 2016 budget deficit is likely to be north of last year’s, and likely by a decent amount, even as the U.S. economy has continued its steady, if unspectacular, growth.
In the 2015 fiscal year, the budget deficit was $439.1 billion. In March, the CBO said it expected it to jump to $534 billion, or nearly $100 billion for 2016. But after somewhat disappointing individual tax collections in April, and weaker quarterly corporate tax receipts due to last year’s tax extenders law, that number is expected to be revised upward, likely to around $550 billion to $575 billion.
Both the CBO and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget are set to update their budget projections in coming weeks. The OMB midsession update is due to Congress by July 15, while the CBO’s is usually released in the latter part of August.
The Treasury’s month budget statement is available here.
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