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Federal budget summary for 2019

Federal revenues for 2019 were up, but spending increased by a larger amount, resulting in a higher deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office has released its summary for fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019. The headline numbers are these:

In fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, the federal budget deficit totaled $984 billion — $205 billion more than the shortfall recorded in 2018. The deficit increased to 4.6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, up from 3.8 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2017. As a result, federal debt held by the public rose to 79.2 percent of GDP, up from 77.4 percent at the end of fiscal year 2018.

CBO reports that total receipts were up by 4.0 percent over the previous year, but outlays rose by 8.2 percent. A timing factor, however, inflates the outlay figure, as CBO notes: “That increase would have been about $44 billion smaller — resulting in an increase of 7.1 percent — if not for the shift of certain payments from October 2017 to September 2017 because October 1 fell on a weekend.”


The chart of outlays and receipts provided by CBO expresses these values as a percent of gross domestic product. Federal outlays are now above the long-term average.

The release page for the report is Monthly Budget Review: Summary for Fiscal Year 2019. It holds a link to the complete report.

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