Categories: World News

US Budget Deficit Exceeds $1 Trillion Through March

 

The US budget deficit exceeded $1 trillion in the first six months of the fiscal year, bolstered in part by interest on public debt, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday.

But the gap of around $1.1 trillion was three percent below the corresponding period last year, according to Treasury figures.

From October to March, receipts rose by seven percent to a record $2.2 trillion. Outlays rose by three percent, remaining above $3 trillion.

In particular, there was a 32 percent rise in gross corporate taxes collected and an increase in individual taxes as well, the Treasury said.

But a key factor adding to spending was interest paid on the public debt, which shot up 36 percent to $522 billion after borrowing costs jumped.

Spending on defense programs also picked up, by six percent to $410 billion, while spending by the Social Security Administration was up eight percent to $741 billion.

There was a drop in expenditures for the month of March, in part because there were no major bank failures this year.

Last year, there was a large Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation payment due to the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, a Treasury official told reporters.

In 2023, the US budget deficit widened to $1.7 trillion, a development that could pile pressure on President Joe Biden as he seeks reelection.

Last year’s deficit expansion came on the back of lower tax revenues while interest rates remained elevated.

AFP

Kayode Oyero

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