Monthly Budget Review: Summary for Fiscal Year 2021

United States Department of the Treasury Building, Washington DC

In fiscal year 2021, the federal deficit totaled nearly $2.8 trillion—about $360 billion less than in 2020, but nearly triple the shortfall in 2019. That deficit was equal to 12.4% of GDP, down from 15.0% in 2020, but up from 4.7% in 2019.

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Corrections and Updates

On November 15, 2021, CBO reposted the Monthly Budget Review: Summary for Fiscal Year 2021 to correct an error in the section “Estimated Deficit in October 2021: $167 billion.” Outlays for October 2021 were $70 billion (or 13 percent) less than in October 2020. Shifts in the timing of certain payments (because November 1, 2020, fell on a weekend) increased the deficit in October of last year; if not for those shifts, the outlay decrease in October 2021 would have been $7 billion (or 2 percent).