Budget Projections

CBO’s budget projections under current law—known as baseline projections—give the Congress a benchmark against which to measure the effects of proposed changes spending and taxes. The projections show what would happen to the federal budget if current laws remained in place, that is if no new laws affecting spending and taxes were enacted during the projection period. In addition, the agency regularly shows the effects of adopting alternative policies that have been discussed by the Congress, so that the impact of those alternative policies is clear. CBO also makes long-term budget projections.

  • Report August 27, 2014

    The deficit this year will be $506 billion, CBO estimates, about $170 billion lower than the deficit in 2013. After a weak first half of this year, CBO expects economic growth to pick up and the unemployment rate to continue to fall.

  • Report July 15, 2014

    If current laws remained generally unchanged, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2039 and would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy—a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.

  • Report April 14, 2014

    The deficit will decrease to $492 billion in 2014, CBO projects. But under current law, deficits will begin rising again in 2016—and by 2024, debt will reach 78 percent of GDP, twice the average of the past 40 years.

  • Report February 4, 2014

    Under current law, deficits will drop through 2015 but rise thereafter, boosting the already high federal debt, CBO projects. Economic growth will be solid in the near term, but unemployment will not drop below 6.0 percent until 2017.