US budget deficit reaches record $234bn in Feb

24 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: The US federal budget deficit reached 234 billion U.S. dollars in February, the biggest budget deficit on record for the month, the Treasury Department said Friday.

The figure is 8.7 percent up from the same month a year ago. For the first five months of the fiscal year 2019 that started on Oct. 1, the deficit totaled 544.2 billion dollars, up 39 percent from a year ago, reports Xinhua.

Total outlays in February were 401 billion dollars, up by 21 percent from the year before, and total revenues were 167 billion dollars, down by 50.9 percent.

The top three outlays for the month were 87 billion dollars on social security, 87 billion dollars on income security and 57 billion dollars on national defense.

According to the budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 that President Donald Trump sent to Congress last week, the deficit is expected to reach 1.1 trillion dollars for fiscal year 2020.

The 4.7-trillion-U.S.-dollar budget proposal contains stiff spending cuts across non-defense federal agencies and a hike in defense money. The budget proposal also seeks to make the tax cuts permanent.

Because of persistently large deficits, the public debt is projected to grow steadily, reaching 93 percent of U.S. GDP in 2029 and about 150 percent of U.S. GDP in 2049, according to estimation from the Congressional Budget Office in January.