The federal government accumulated a budget deficit of $349 billion for the first four months of fiscal year 2012, CBO estimates in its latest Monthly Budget Review, $70 billion less than the shortfall recorded for the same period last year. Without shifts in the timing of certain payments, however, the deficit would have been only $39 billion smaller than the shortfall for the same period last year.
If lawmakers enact no further legislation affecting spending or revenues, the federal government will end fiscal year 2012 with a deficit of nearly $1.1 trillion, CBO estimates, compared with $1.3 trillion in 2011. However, enactment of proposals such as pending legislation to extend the payroll tax cut could have a significant impact on the deficit for 2012. (For more details about CBO's most recent budget projections, see The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022.)
Receipts totaled $791 billion in the first four months of fiscal year 2012, 4 percent more than in the same period last year, CBO estimates. Virtually all of the $33 billion increase resulted from the following:
In contrast, receipts from payroll taxes were slightly lower over the October-January period this year, reflecting the reduction in the employees' share of the Social Security payroll tax that took effect in January 2011. A $4 billion decline in withheld payroll taxes was roughly offset by a $4 billion increase in unemployment taxes.
Spending totaled $1.14 trillion, about $37 billion (or 3 percent) lower in the first four months of this year than in the same period last year; but adjusted for shifts in the timing of certain payments, total outlays were about the same in both periods.
Outlays declined for some categories of spending:
For some categories, spending was greater than that in the first third of fiscal year 2012:
The Monthly Budget Review presents CBO's estimates based on the Daily Treasury Statements issued by the Treasury Department. It was prepared by Elizabeth Cove Delisle, Barbara Edwards, Daniel Hoople, David Rafferty, and Joshua Shakin.