Monthly budget review

June 5, 2008

CBO released a new Monthly Budget Review today. During the first eight months of fiscal year 2008, CBO estimates that the federal government incurred a deficit of $317 billion, $168 billion more than the shortfall recorded through May of last year. About $50 billion of that change is due to the distribution of the tax rebates enacted in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. That amount is just under half of the total rebates expected for this year--most of the remainder will be disbursed during the next two months.

Federal taxes withheld from paychecks are up by about 4 percent so far this year, though the increases have been smaller in recent months, reflecting slowing growth in wages and salaries. In May, receipts of corporate income taxes declined, relative to those in the same month last year, for the 11th consecutive month. For the first eight months of the fiscal year, corporate receipts have declined by about 16 percent ($33 billion).

Net of refunds, federal receipts this year are about the same as they were at the same point last year. In contrast, spending so far this year is up by about 8 percent (after adjusting for shifts in the timing of certain payments).