BUSINESS US federal deficit hits 7-year high in fiscal year 2019


US federal deficit hits 7-year high in fiscal year 2019


07:02, October 26, 2019

US capitol ap.jpeg

(Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The US federal budget deficit recorded 984 billion US dollars in the fiscal year 2019, up by 26 percent from the same period the previous year, and it's the highest since 2012, the Treasury Department said Friday.

As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the federal deficit was 4.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 0.8 percentage point higher than the previous year, the department said.

Total outlays for fiscal year 2019 recorded 4,447 billion dollars, with top three outlays being 1,044 billion dollars on social security, 688 billion dollars on national defense, and 651 billion dollars Medicare. Total receipts recorded 3,462 billion dollars in the fiscal year.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that the 2019 budget deficit would be 960 billion dollars and averages 1.2 trillion dollars between 2020 and 2029.

Over the coming decade, deficits (after adjustments to exclude the effects of shifts in the timing of certain payments) fluctuate between 4.4 percent and 4.8 percent of GDP, "well above the average over the past 50 years," the CBO said in a report released late August.

Earlier in August, US President Donald Trump signed the "Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019," which boosts discretionary spending limits and suspends the public debt limit for the next two years.

The budget deal will lift the budget cap for discretionary spending to 1.37 trillion dollars in 2020 and 1.375 trillion dollars in 2021, expanding defense outlays, demanded by Republicans, and boosting domestic spending, including health care for veterans, sought by Democrats.

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