In fiscal year 2015, which ended on September 30, the federal budget deficit totaled $439 billion—$44 billion less than the shortfall in 2014. Fiscal year 2015 was the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit declined as a share of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit peaked at 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009; it fell to 2.8 percent in 2014 and to 2.5 percent in 2015.
In 2015, the government’s revenues were $3.2 trillion, $228 billion (or almost 8 percent) more than receipts in 2014. As a percentage of GDP, revenues rose from 17.6 percent in 2014 to 18.2 percent in 2015, the highest level since 2001 and greater than the average over the past 50 years (17.4 percent) for the second year in a row.
Net spending by the government was $3.7 trillion in 2015—$184 billion (or about 5 percent) more than outlays in 2014, and the highest that it has been, in nominal terms, since 2011. Outlays amounted to 20.7 percent of GDP in 2015, compared with 20.4 percent in 2014. The percentage in 2015 was well below the recent peak of 24.4 percent in 2009 but above the 50-year average of 20.2 percent.