U.S. Budget Deficit Widens in January


The U.S. budget gap increased to $17.5 billion in January of 2015 from $10.3 billion a year earlier as the government spend more on health care services for low-income Americans.

Receipts in January totaled $302 billion, about $6 billion (or 2 percent) more than those in the same month of last year. Individual income taxes and payroll taxes together increased by $4 billion (or 1 percent). Withheld and nonwithheld taxes from those sources grew by $4 billion (or 2 percent) and $8 billion (or 10 percent), respectively. But the net increase in receipts was small because refunds of individual income taxes also rose by $5 billion and receipts from unemployment insurance taxes were down by $3 billion.

Total spending in January was $320 billion, $14 billion (or 6 percent) more than outlays in the same month in 2014. If not for the effects of timing shifts, outlays in January would have been $12 billion higher than they were in the same month last year.
Among the larger changes in outlays, compared with those of last year, were the following:
1. Spending for two of the government’s largest entitlement programs increased by a total of $8 billion: Medicaid, by $5 billion (or 21 percent) and Social Security, by $3 billion (or 5 percent).
2. Outlays for both student loans and international assistance were up by $3 billion.
3. Subsidy payments for health insurance purchased through exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act increased outlays by $2 billion. Those subsidies first began in January 2014; payments in January 2015 were $2 billion, whereas they were only $40 million in January 2014.
4. Spending for military activities of the Department of Defense decreased by $9 billion (or 18 percent).

U.S. Budget Deficit Widens in January


Congessional Budget Office | anna@tradingeconomics.com
2/11/2015 7:19:04 PM