U.S. Ran $63 Billion Budget Deficit in October

By Kate Davidson Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.S. government ran a $63 billion budget deficit in October, as government spending outpaced revenue collection at the start of the fiscal year.

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Federal government outlays last month totaled $299 billion, exceeding $235 billion in total receipts, the Treasury Department said Monday. The Congressional Budget Office had estimated the government recorded a deficit of $62 billion in October.

The monthly deficit was about $17 billion wider than a $46 billion budget gap in October 2016.

During the first month of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, the budget deficit was about 38% larger than the same period last year, largely because of quirks in the calendar that shifted the timing of certain benefit payments. Revenues increased 6% during that time, compared with last year, but spending increased more, rising about 12%, Treasury said.

More broadly, declining government revenues and long-term costs associated with an aging population, including higher Social Security and Medicare spending, are expected to continue pushing up the deficit.

Federal debt recently crossed the $20 trillion threshold, after Congress voted in September to suspend the debt ceiling for three months and allow Treasury to once again borrow to pay for previously authorized spending.

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The federal budget deficit widened in fiscal year 2017 to the sixth highest on record as government spending growth outpaced growth in tax collections for the second year in a row, the Treasury said last month.

The budget shortfall rose to $666 billion in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, up $80 billion, or 14%, from fiscal year 2016.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 14:27 ET (19:27 GMT)