Saturday, February 6, 2016

So This is Getting Better?

The CBO reports:

The federal budget deficit was $165 billion for the first four months of fiscal year 2016, CBO estimates—$29 billion less than the shortfall recorded in the same span last year. Receipts were 3 percent higher than they were at this time a year ago, and outlays were about the same. If not for shifts in the timing of certain payments (which otherwise would have fallen on a weekend), the deficit for the first four months of fiscal year 2016 would have been $10 billion larger than it was last year. If lawmakers enact no further legislation affecting spending or revenues this year, the federal government will end fiscal year 2016 with a deficit of $544 billion, or 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), CBO estimates, up from $439 billion, or 2.5 percent of GDP, in 2015. An estimated $43 billion of this year’s projected increase in the deficit will result from a shift in the timing of some payments that the government would ordinarily have made in fiscal year 2017 but that will instead be made in fiscal year 2016, because October 1, 2016—the first day of fiscal year 2017—falls on a weekend. If not for that shift, the projected deficit in 2016 would be $500 billion, or 2.7 percent of GDP. 

Not really an improving situation. Perhaps this is a driver of the current market.