The federal budget deficit was $360 billion in the first seven months of fiscal year 2022, CBO estimates. That amount is about one-fifth of the $1.9 trillion shortfall recorded during the same period in 2021.
The federal budget deficit was $360 billion in the first seven months of fiscal year 2022 (that is, from October 2021 through April 2022), the Congressional Budget Office estimates. That amount is about one-fifth of the $1.9 trillion shortfall recorded during the same period in 2021. Revenues were $843 billion (or 39 percent) higher and outlays were $729 billion (or 18 percent) lower than during the same period a year ago.
Receipts collected through April 2022 were significantly greater than CBO estimated when it last published baseline projections in July 2021. On the basis of collections so far this year, revenues in 2022 are likely to total between $400 billion and $500 billion more than CBO anticipated last summer. That increase stems mainly from larger-than-anticipated payments of individual income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes for calendar year 2021. The reasons for the difference will be better understood as additional information becomes available, but may reflect stronger-than-expected income growth throughout 2021 and so far in 2022.
The trajectory of monthly deficits so far in fiscal year 2022 is similar to that in 2019, and the deficit is smaller. For the first seven months of that year, the cumulative deficit was $530 billion; the government recorded a surplus in April of each year.
The deficit at this point last year and in 2020, $1.9 trillion and $1.5 trillion, respectively, was much larger because of spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic—mostly for the recovery rebates (also known as economic impact payments), unemployment compensation, and pandemic relief through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Outlays for the child tax credit, which was temporarily expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), have been sizable this year, but other pandemic-related spending has diminished substantially.