Deficit Increases in First 4 Months of Fiscal Year

Deficit Increases in First 4 Months of Fiscal Year

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The budget deficit between October 2018, when the current fiscal year began, and January 2019 was $310 billion, a 77 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

Shifts in the timing of payments and outlays explained about half of the increase; without those shifts, the deficit would have increased by about 40 percent.

Federal spending rose 9 percent during the period, while total receipts fell 2 percent.

“The tax code overhaul that took effect last year has constrained federal revenues over the past year, while a two-year budget deal has boosted government spending, particularly on defense,” The Wall Street Journal’s Kate Davidson wrote. “On a 12-month basis, revenues declined 1.5%, while outlays have risen 4.4%.”