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.

BUDGET PROJECTIONS FOR FY 2018

(As of )

OUTLAYS

$4.1 Trillion

REVENUES

$3.3 Trillion

DEFICIT

$804 Billion

DEBT HELD BY THE PUBLIC (End of Fiscal Year)

$15.7 Trillion

ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS FOR CY 2018

(As of )

REAL GDP GROWTH (Q4/Q4)

3.3%

INFLATION (PCE Price Index, Q4/Q4)

1.8%

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (Q4)

3.5%

INTEREST RATE (3-Month Treasury Bills)

1.9%

  • Report

    CBO has developed “rules of thumb” that show how changes in four key economic variables might affect revenues, outlays, and deficits. An interactive workbook allows users to see the budgetary effects of their own alternative scenarios.

  • Report

    If current laws remain generally unchanged, CBO projects, federal budget deficits and debt would increase over the next 30 years—reaching the highest level of debt relative to GDP in the nation’s history by far.

  • Report

    In CBO’s projections, the economy grows relatively quickly this year and next and then more slowly in the following several years. The federal budget deficit rises substantially, boosting federal debt to nearly 100 percent of GDP by 2028.

  • Report

    Under current law, deficits in CBO’s baseline projections continue to climb over the next decade, driving up federal debt. Economic growth remains modest, at about 2.0 percent through 2018 and then 1.9 percent later in the period.

  • Report

    If current laws remained generally unchanged, the United States would face steadily increasing federal budget deficits and debt over the next 30 years—reaching the highest level of debt relative to GDP ever experienced in this country.

  • Blog Post

    CBO discusses several uncertainties in the outlook for the U.S. economy, as described in An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2016 to 2026.