CBO’s Projections of Federal Receipts and Expenditures in the National Income and Product Accounts

August 28, 2014

How do CBO's projections of federal receipts and expenditures in the national income and product accounts compare with CBO's baseline projections of revenues and outlays in the federal budget?


The fiscal transactions of the federal government are recorded in two major sets of accounts. One is The Budget of the United States Government, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget. It is the framework generally used by executive branch agencies and the Congress and is the presentation of the federal government's budgetary activity that is most often discussed in the press. The other set of accounts is the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), produced by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The purposes served by the budget and the NIPA accounting frameworks, their conceptual differences, and the relationship between those two sets of data are examined briefly below and more thoroughly in previous publications by CBO. CBO recently reported its latest baseline projections of federal revenues and outlays in the standard structure for budget accounting. This report presents those projections in the NIPA framework and shows the differences between the two presentations.

According to CBO's projections, for the 2014–2024 period receipts in the NIPAs are greater than revenues in the budget by about 5 percent, and expenditures in the NIPAs exceed outlays in the budget by about 7 percent. Projected expenditures in the NIPAs exceed projected receipts by $9.0 trillion, whereas projected deficits in the budget total $7.7 trillion.