The federal budget deficit rose to a record-breaking $3.1 trillion in fiscal year 2020, according to estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office Thursday.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, the annual deficit was expected to top $1 trillion in 2020, but reduced revenues and increased spending associated with the pandemic produced a final number about three times that estimate. Revenues were down 1%, while spending — on everything from aid to businesses to enhanced unemployment benefits for laid off workers — was up 47%.
"Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit—at an estimated 15.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—was the largest since 1945,” the CBO said.
The Treasury Department will release official figures later in the month.