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Monthly Budget Review: May 2024

Monthly Budget Review: May 2024

The federal budget deficit was $1.2 trillion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2024, the Congressional Budget Office estimates—$38 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last fiscal year. Revenues were $294 billion (or 10 percent) higher and outlays were $332 billion (or 8 percent) higher from October through May than during the same period in fiscal year 2023.

Shifts in the timing of certain payments affect that comparison. Outlays in the first eight 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. In addition, because June 1, 2024, fell on a weekend, outlays in the first eight months of 2024 were boosted by the shifting of payments into May 2024. Those amounts were larger than the amounts shifted from October to September 2023, increasing outlays, on net, in fiscal year 2024. If not for those timing shifts, the deficit so far in fiscal year 2024 would have been $46 billion less than the shortfall for the same period in fiscal year 2023.

Several factors will cause the deficit for 2024 to be larger than last year’s—and larger than CBO estimated in February. In particular, spending this year is now anticipated to be greater than previously projected. Contributing to that outcome are additional costs—that have not yet been recorded—stemming from administrative actions associated with student loans and from legislation providing international assistance. Next week, 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/60280

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