The federal government posted the largest monthly budget deficit in history in February, with outlays exceeding revenues by $234 billion, the Treasury Department said Friday. The fiscal gap surpassed the monthly record of $231 billion set in February 2012 and is about 8 percent larger than the $215 billion recorded in the same period last year.
In the first five months of the 2019 fiscal year, the budget deficit grew by 39 percent, rising to $544 billion in October through February, up from $391 billion in the same period 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.
Tax receipts in the current fiscal year have declined less than 1 percent compared to the year before, while spending has increased 9 percent, rising to $1.8 trillion. Corporate taxes have dropped significantly, with $59.2 billion paid so far this fiscal year, compared to $73.5 billion at this point in 2018 and $87.4 billion at this point in 2017.