US budget deficit grows 27% through July

FILE — This July 16, 2019, file photo shows the Capitol Dome in Washington. On Monday, Aug. 12, the Treasury Department releases federal budget data for July.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. fiscal deficit already has exceeded the full-year figure for last year, as spending growth outpaces revenue.

The gap grew to $866.8 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, up 27% from the same period a year earlier, the Treasury Department said in an emailed statement on Monday. That’s wider than last fiscal year’s shortfall of $779 billion — which was the largest federal deficit since 2012.

So far in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, a revenue increase of 3% hasn’t kept pace with an 8% rise in spending. While still a modest source of income, tariffs imposed by the Trump administration helped almost double customs duties to $57 billion in the period.

Tax cuts, increased federal spending and an aging population have contributed to the fiscal strains, though the GOP said tax reform enacted last year will spur economic growth and lift government revenue. Corporate income-tax receipts rose 3% between October and July, while individual income taxes gained 1%, according to Treasury data.

The annual budget deficit is expected to exceed $1 trillion starting in 2022, the Congressional Budget Office has said. The nonpartisan agency is scheduled to update its latest 10-year budget and economic forecasts on Aug. 21.