Outlook for the Budget and the Economy

CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook, typically produced in January each year and updated in August, includes an economic forecast and projections of spending and revenues under current law—known as baseline projections—over the next 10 years. CBO also updates its budget projections each spring in conjunction with its analysis of the President's budgetary proposals. By showing outcomes if current laws generally remained in place, the baseline projections provide the Congress with a benchmark against which to measure the effects of proposed changes in spending and tax laws. CBO also analyzes the long-term budget outlook.

  • Report March 24, 2016

    CBO projects a $534 billion deficit in fiscal year 2016, about $100 billion more than in 2015. If current laws generally remained unchanged, the deficit would increase from 2.9 percent to 4.9 percent of GDP over the next decade.

  • Report January 25, 2016

    CBO estimates that the federal budget deficit in 2016 will be $544 billion, raising debt held by the public to 76 percent of GDP. Solid short-term growth in the economy is projected to be followed by slower growth in subsequent years.

  • Report June 16, 2015

    If current laws remained generally unchanged, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2040 and continue on an upward path relative to the size of the economy—a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.

  • Report March 9, 2015

    Under current law, CBO estimates the deficit will total 2.7 percent of GDP in 2015, drop to roughly 2.4 percent for the following three years, and then begin to rise. By 2025, debt held by the public is projected to reach 77 percent of GDP.

  • Report December 20, 2013

    Federal debt is projected to rise significantly over the long term. What policy changes could reduce future deficits and thus lower the trajectory of federal debt? What criteria might be used to evaluate those policy changes?