Tags: Budget | Deficit | us | government

US Budget Deficit Widened 4.1% to $231.7 Billion in February

Monday, 12 Mar 2012 02:33 PM

The U.S. government’s budget deficit widened more than forecast in February higher as revenue fell.

The gap expanded 4.1 percent to $231.7 billion from a $222.5 billion shortfall in February 2011, according to Treasury Department data released today in Washington.

“There is little hope that a recovery will allow a bounce in receipt growth that could meaningfully close the gap,” Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado, said before the report. “The massive deficit reflects a sizable upward ratcheting in government spending over the past three years that cannot be resolved with a cyclical receipt climb.”

Editor's Note: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

President Barack Obama told a group of business executives last week that the U.S. can avoid extreme measures to trim the deficit while still meeting the nation’s need to bolster education and rebuild infrastructure. Obama said “modest” increases in tax revenue and cuts in spending will bring the budget shortfall into line without jeopardizing a still fragile recovery.

Before today’s report, a survey of 29 economists by Bloomberg News forecast that the February budget deficit would widen to $229 billion. Estimates ranged from a gap of $240 billion to a shortfall of $196 billion.

Tax Receipts

Spending rose by 0.6 percent in February from a year earlier to $335.1 billion, while revenue fell 6.5 percent from a year earlier to $103.4 billion.

Individual income tax receipts rose 0.6 percent to $425.3 billion in the current fiscal year that started Oct. 1. Corporate income tax receipts rose 59 percent to $60.6 billion

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the February budget deficit would reach $229 billion, the same as the median in the Bloomberg survey.

The CBO said in a report dated March 7 that revenue was about 5 percent lower in February than in the same month a year earlier.

“The decline resulted primarily from an increase of $25 billion — or 47 percent — in refunds of individual income taxes,” the CBO said.

Editor's Note: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

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Monday, 12 Mar 2012 02:33 PM
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