U.S. Budget Deficit Widens as Negotiators Float a Plan

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury released the second budget report of federal fiscal year 2014, and so far things are looking OK — not great, but OK. Total November outlays fell 4.8 percent on the year to $317.7 billion, and total receipts increased 12.8 percent to $182.5 billion, yielding a monthly deficit of $135.2 billion, down 21.4 percent on the year.

This fiscal year to date (which means just October and November so far), receipts are up 10.2 percent at $381.4 billion, and outlays are down 4.8 percent at $608.2 billion. The YTD deficit is down 22.4 percent, at $226.8 billion.

The ongoing deficit reductions are encouraging but nothing to write home about. The full-year fiscal 2014 deficit is expected to come in at $750.4 billion, which is actually above the fiscal 2013 cumulative deficit of $680.2 billion. In fiscal 2015, the deficit is expected to fall to $625.8 billion, the product of ongoing spending cuts and climbing tax revenues thanks to edits to the tax code and a healing economy.

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