The federal government ran a budget deficit of $231 billion for the first two months of fiscal year 2014, $61 billion less than the shortfall recorded in October and November of last year, CBO estimates.
Receipts for the first two months of fiscal year 2014 totaled $380 billion, CBO estimates—$34 billion more than receipts during the same period last year.
Outlays for the first two months of fiscal year 2014 were $27 billion less than they were during the same period last year, CBO estimates. That decrease would have been slightly larger if not for shifts in the timing of certain payments from December to November (because December 1 fell on a weekend in both years). Without those timing shifts, CBO estimates, spending would have declined by $29 billion (or 5 percent).
Outlays for several major programs or categories of spending were less than what was spent during the first two months of last year, CBO estimates:
Increases in spending for some other major programs during the first two months of fiscal year 2014 partially offset those declines. In particular, spending increased for two of the government’s largest entitlement programs:
The federal government incurred a deficit of $140 billion in November 2013, CBO estimates, $33 billion smaller than the $172 billion deficit incurred in the same month last year. Because December 1 fell on a weekend in both years, certain payments that ordinarily would have been made in December were instead made in November. Without that shift in the timing of payments (in both 2012 and 2013), the November 2013 deficit would have been $35 billion less than that in November 2012.
CBO estimates that receipts in November totaled $182 billion—$20 billion (or 12 percent) more than those in the same month last year. Individual income taxes and social insurance (payroll) taxes together rose by $20 billion (or 15 percent); a $19 billion increase in withheld taxes explains nearly all of the change. That increase reflects the expiration of the payroll tax cut in January 2013 as well as increases in other taxes and higher wages and salaries.
Total spending in November 2013 was $321 billion, CBO estimates—$13 billion less than outlays in the same month in 2012. If not for the effects of timing shifts, that difference would have been slightly larger—$15 billion. (The month-over-month changes discussed below reflect adjustments to account for those shifts.) Among the larger changes in outlays compared with last year were the following:
The Treasury Department reported a deficit of $92 billion for October—$28 billion less than in the same month last year.
Note: The amounts shown in this report include the surplus or deficit in the Social Security trust funds and the net cash flow of the Postal Service, which are off-budget. Numbers may not add up to totals because of rounding.
This document was prepared by Barbara Edwards, Dawn Sauter Regan, Joshua Shakin, and Adam Wilson.