Federal Spending and Deficit Set Records Through May

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 10, 2020 | 5:06pm EDT
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government set records for both the amount of money it spent and the deficit it ran in the first eight months of fiscal 2020 (October through May), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

During the October-May period, the government spent a record $3,899,536,000,000 while it collected $2,019,240,000,000 in total taxes.


The resulting deficit of $1,880,296,000 was the largest the federal government has ever run in the first eight months of a fiscal year.

Prior to this year, the largest deficit the federal government ever ran in the October-May period was in fiscal 2009, when it ran a deficit of $1,189,252,330,000 in constant May 2020 dollars.

Before the federal government spent a record $3,899,536,000,000 in the first eight months of this fiscal year, the most it ever spent in the first eight months of any fiscal year was the $3,017,094,760,000 (in constant May 2020 dollars) it spent last year.

The record $3,899,536,000,000 that the federal government spent in the first eight months of this fiscal year is 29.2 percent more than the previous spending record it set in the first eight months of last year.

While federal spending was setting a record, total federal tax collections were declining in the first eight months of fiscal 2020.

The $2,019,240,000,000 in total taxes the Treasury collected in October through May of this fiscal year was the lowest in seven years. The last time the Treasury collected less than that in the first eight months of the fiscal year was in fiscal 2013, when the Treasury collected $1,981,760,690 in constant May 2020 dollars.

The Department of Health and Human Services led all federal agencies in spending in the first eight months of fiscal 2020 with outlays of $997,981,000,000.

It spent an average of $124,747,625,000 per month.

The Social Security Administration was second in spending among all federal agencies. It had outlays of $761,838,000,000 for the first eight months of fiscal 2020.

(The numbers in this story were adjusted into constant May 2020 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.




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