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Monthly Budget Review: April 2024

The federal budget deficit was $857 billion in the first seven months of fiscal year 2024, the Congressional Budget Office estimates—$68 billion less than the deficit recorded during the same period last fiscal year. Revenues were $278 billion (or 10 percent) higher and outlays were $210 billion (or 6 percent) higher from October through April than during the same period in fiscal year 2023.

Shifts in the timing of certain payments affect that comparison. Outlays in the first seven months of each fiscal year were reduced by shifts of some payments to September that otherwise would have been due on October 1, which fell on a weekend in both years. If not for that, the deficit so far in fiscal year 2024 would have been $929 billion—$59 billion less than the shortfall for the same period in fiscal year 2023.

Although the deficit so far in fiscal year 2024 is smaller than the shortfall during the same period last year, it appears likely that the deficit for the full year will end up being larger. Contributing to that outcome will be additional costs for outstanding student loans and disaster loans that the Administration has announced but that the Department of Education and the Small Business Administration, respectively, have not yet recorded. In addition, revenue collections through April were smaller than CBO anticipated. In June, CBO will publish a revised estimate of the 2024 budget deficit in an update to the Budget and Economic Outlook.

Originally published at https://www.cbo.gov/publication/60193

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