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

By Kate DavidsonFeaturesDow 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.

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.

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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.

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)