Outlook for the Budget and the Economy

CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook, typically produced in January each year and updated in August, includes an economic forecast and projections of spending and revenues under current law—known as baseline projections—over the next 10 years. CBO also updates its budget projections each spring in conjunction with its analysis of the President's budgetary proposals. By showing outcomes if current laws generally remained in place, the baseline projections provide the Congress with a benchmark against which to measure the effects of proposed changes in spending and tax laws. CBO also analyzes the long-term budget outlook.

  • Report January 26, 2015

    Under current law, the deficit is projected to hold steady as a percentage of GDP through 2018, but rise thereafter, raising the already high federal debt. The rate of economic growth is projected to be solid in 2015 and the next few years.

  • 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 December 20, 2013

    Federal debt is projected to rise significantly over the long term. What policy changes could reduce future deficits and thus lower the trajectory of federal debt? What criteria might be used to evaluate those policy changes?