U.S. fiscal year budget
deficit widens to $587 billion
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[October 15, 2016]
By Lindsay Dunsmuir
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. budget
deficit widened to $587 billion for the fiscal year 2016 on
slower-than-expected revenues and higher spending for programs including
Social Security and Medicare, the Treasury Department said on Friday.
The 2016 deficit increased to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product.
It was the first time the deficit increased in relation to economic
output since 2009, according to figures from the Congressional Budget
Office. That year, the deficit peaked at $1.4 trillion amid the
Last fiscal year's deficit was $439 billion, with a deficit-to-GDP ratio
of 2.5 percent. Accounting for calendar adjustments, the 2016 fiscal
year deficit was $548 billion.
Fiscal 2016 revenues grew 1 percent to $3.267 trillion, while outlays
rose 5 percent to $3.854 trillion.
Revenue growth was reduced by the retroactive extension of some expired
individual and corporate tax deductions passed by Congress as part of
the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act late last year,
With an aging population, mandatory spending for Social Security and
Medicare, the federal retirement and healthcare programs for the
elderly, have increased.
For September, the Treasury posted a $33 billion budget surplus, a 63
percent decline from the same month last year.
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The U.S. Treasury building is seen in Washington, September 29,
2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $25 billion surplus for last month.
When accounting for calendar adjustments, September would have shown a $75
billion surplus compared with an adjusted $91 billion surplus in the same month
a year ago.
Receipts last month totaled $357 billion, a 2 percent decline from September
2015, while outlays stood at $323 billion, an 18 percent rise from the same
month a year ago.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has repeatedly warned that
increasing federal debt levels are unsustainable over the long term unless
Congress changes current laws.
(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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