Federal Budget Deficit Fell in December

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump give candy to children during a Halloween trick-or-treat event at the White House, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

White House spending is down by 10 percent compared with a year ago, helping to bring the budget deficit in a bit lower than economists expected.

The Federal budget deficit declined by almost 2 percent in December compared with a year earlier, according to data released Monday by the Treasury Department.

Federal receipts for the month came in at $335.8 billion, a 7.3 percent increase from the prior year. Expenditures rose by just 7 percent, leaving a smaller monthly gap of $13.3 billion.

That was less than the $15 billion deficit forecast by economists.

The Federal government’s fiscal year began in October. Through December, the deficit is up by slightly less than to $356.6 billion. The Congressional Budget Office has forecast a budget deficit above $1 trillion in fiscal 2020. The deficit for fiscal 2019 came in at $984 billion.

Despite the deep cuts in corporate tax rates at the start of 2018, corporate income tax receipts are up sharply. Through December, the government has collected $65.4 billion in corporate taxes, a 23 percent jump over the $53.1 billion collected last year at this point.

Customs duties are also up sharply to $21.2 billion from $17.8 billion for the period a year ago, an 18.6 percent gain. This is likely due to the additional tariffs imposed on imports from China.

Interest payment expenditures also declined despite the rising level of debt.

Nearly every government department has spent more in the first three months of the fiscal year than they did a year prior. Notable exceptions are the Executive Office of the President, where White House spending declined 10 percent. There were also declines in spending by the Department of Interior, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Small Business Administration.

The decline in spending by the Executive Office of the President is notable because that budget, more than any other part of the government, is under the direct purview of President Donald Trump.







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