U.S. Budget Deficit Grew 8% in First Half of Fiscal 2020, Treasury Says
The U.S. government budget deficit grew 8% in the first six months of the fiscal year, as government spending outpaced federal tax receipts ahead of a big hit expected from the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget gap totaled $743.6 billion from October through March, compared with $691.2 billion in the same period a year earlier, the U.S. Treasury Department said Friday. Federal outlays rose 7%, to $2.347 trillion, while federal tax receipts grew 6%, to $1.604 trillion — both record highs for the six-month period.
A Treasury official said neither revenues nor spending were significantly affected in March by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused widespread shutdowns of economic activity across the U.S. starting around the middle of the month.
That’s expected to change soon, however.
“We will certainly see a significant impact to receipts in the April results,” the Treasury official said. “On outlays there will be a significant impact as well, as some of the stimulus programs will have begun to be paid.”