U.S. Budget Gap Rose 61% in First Quarter of Fiscal 2021

WASHINGTON—The federal funds hole widened in the primary three months of the fiscal yr, as authorities spending continued to outpace revenues whereas the economic system slowly recovers from the pandemic-induced downturn.

The U.S. Treasury Department mentioned Wednesday the deficit from October via December totaled a file $573 billion, a 61% enhance from the identical interval a yr earlier. Federal outlays rose 18%, to $1.4 trillion, pushed larger primarily by automated safety-net spending similar to jobless advantages, vitamin help and well being care. Total receipts held regular, at $803 billion, the Treasury mentioned.

For the 12 months that ended in December, the federal government ran a $3.3 trillion deficit, greater than triple the shortfall a yr earlier and roughly 15.8% of U.S. gross home product, the broadest measure of financial output.

Government spending surged final yr as Congress authorized several measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic and cushion the U.S. economic system from recession, and federal revenues declined as companies closed and hundreds of thousands of Americans misplaced their jobs. The Labor Department mentioned final week the U.S. lost 140,000 jobs last month, ending a seven-month streak of job creation as virus outbreaks throughout the nation prompted a brand new spherical of enterprise restrictions.

Lawmakers approved one other $908 billion financial reduction bundle final month, however Treasury officers mentioned the federal government didn’t start distributing the cash—together with stimulus checks—till this month, and it isn’t mirrored in the figures launched Wednesday.

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