US budget deficit nearly triples – Treasury
The US federal government’s budget deficit widened sharply in the first nine months of the fiscal year to hit $1.39 trillion in June, the Treasury Department said on Thursday. The figure was up from $515.1 billion in the same period last year.
The federal government operates under a fiscal year that begins October 1.
According to the report, the budget gap widened by $227.76 billion in June, up from $88.8 billion in the same month last year.
The Treasury data showed that a sharp increase in government spending and a significant drop in tax revenues were the key reasons behind the widening deficit.
Overall, tax revenues between October and June were 11% lower than the same period a year ago due to a slump in stocks, bonds and other assets. Data showed that in June government receipts declined by $42 billion to $418 billion from a year ago. At the same time, spending increased, with outlays rising $96 billion to $646 billion. Soaring inflation has also added to federal spending.
US Federal Reserve officials have been warning that the government’s finances were on a path that in the long-term would be unsustainable. According to Phillip Swagel, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, the federal deficit will average around $2 trillion per year, adding to the $32.5 trillion national debt.
“We are projected to spend more on interest payments in the next decade than we will on the entire defense budget,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “How can anyone possibly think this trend is sustainable?”
“We’re running off the rails at an alarming rate,” MacGuineas stated, adding “We need to do better.”
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