The federal budget deficit was $1.2 trillion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2023, the Congressional Budget Office estimates—$735 billion more than the shortfall recorded during the same period last year. Revenues were 11 percent lower and outlays were 9 percent higher from October through May than they were during the same period in fiscal year 2022.
Shifts in the timing of certain payments affect that comparison. Outlays this fiscal year were reduced by the shifting of certain payments—totaling $63 billion—from October 1, 2022 (the first day of fiscal year 2023), into fiscal year 2022 because October 1 fell on a weekend. If not for those timing shifts, the deficit in the first eight months of fiscal year 2023 would have been larger—$1,224 billion rather than $1,161 billion.
CBO’s current projections show a federal budget deficit of $1.5 trillion for 2023. That estimate is subject to considerable uncertainty, however. Revenue collections have been less than the agency expected, which could affect total revenues for the fiscal year. Outlays also could differ significantly from CBO’s projections, most notably depending on the outcome of a case currently before the Supreme Court regarding the cancellation of outstanding student loan debt.