U.S. government posts $234 billion deficit in February

U.S. government posts $234 billion deficit in February

The February budget deficit was also the highest one-month deficit on record, eclipsing the previous record set in 2012.

February's shortfall helped push the deficit for the first five months of the government's fiscal year to $544.2 billion, up nearly 40% from the same period the previous year, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report March 22.

The deficit is growing as the GOP tax law slows revenue intake and the bipartisan budget deal drives up spending.

Last month's budget gap helped push the U.S. government's budget deficit up 39% to $544 billion for the first five months of the fiscal year as federal spending ballooned and revenue mostly stayed the same.

The budget gap widened to $234 billion in February, compared with a fiscal gap of $215.2 billion a year earlier. As is typically the case, the timing of payments played a role; without the timing shifts, the deficit would have grown by 25 percent in the first five months, year over year.

The administration's 2019 forecast would represent a 40 percent increase from last year's deficit of $779 billion. That was the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits during a period when the Obama administration had boosted spending to grapple with the 2008 financial crisis and lift the country out of the deepest recession since the 1930s. The corporate tax cuts passed in 2017 was projected to reduce revenue by $1.5 trillion, but be contrasted by economic growth. The US also issued just over $1.3 trillion in new debt during the 2018 calendar year, the most for any calendar year since 2010. They also cite billions of dollars in increased spending on the military and domestic programs that Congress approved previous year.

The Treasury data show tax receipts declined for corporations and individuals in the five-month period, while revenue from customs duties nearly doubled, boosted by income from tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

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