WASHINGTON — The federal government's deficit jumped sharply in November but for the first two months of the budget year is running 10 percent lower than a year ago.
The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit for November totaled $136.7 billion, compared to a deficit of $44.2 billion in October.
For the first two months of the new 2017 budget year, the deficit totals $180.8 billion, 10 percent below the same period a year ago. However, that improvement mainly reflects calendar quirks that moved benefit payments from October back into September, the final month of the 2016 budget year.
The deficit for all of 2016 totaled $587.3 billion, a 34 percent spike from the previous year. And the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that the deficit will worsen further this year.
The CBO projects the deficit will increase by 0.5 percent to $594 billion and keep rising through the next decade, hitting $1 trillion in 2024. The CBO is projecting deficits will total $8.6 trillion over the next decade if current law covering taxes and entitlement remain in effect.
President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign proposed significant cuts in taxes and increased spending on defense and infrastructure which outside analysts have estimated will add trillions of dollars to current projected deficits if Congress goes along with the proposals without seeking offsetting deficit savings.
The government's budget year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30. Before leaving town, Congress last week passed a second stop-gap funding bill which will finance the government in the current budget year through April, allowing the new Trump administration to take office and submit its first budget to Congress.
Through the first two months of this budget year, government receipts totaled $421.6 billion up 1.3 percent from the same period last year. Government spending totaled $602.4 billion, down 2.4 percent from a year ago. However, that figure was influenced by the fact that benefit payments due in October were actually paid in September of the 2015 budget year because Oct. 1 fell on a Saturday.