CBO Monthly Budget Review: May, 2008

The good folks over at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their monthly budget review yesterday. Some highlights of the number crunching in the report are below:

The federal government incurred a deficit of about $317 billion during the first eight months of fiscal year 2008, CBO estimates, $168 billion more than the shortfall recorded through May of last year. About $50 billion of that change is due to the distribution to individuals of the tax rebates enacted in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. That amount is just under half of the total rebates expected for this year; most of the remainder will be disbursed during the next two months.


CBO estimates that the federal government recorded a deficit of $165 billion in May, about $97 billion more than the deficit recorded in May 2007. About half of that increase was due to rebate payments, which are recorded as either reductions in revenues or increases in outlays. (When a rebate exceeds an individual's federal income tax payment, the excess is classified as an outlay in the budget.)


Outlays were $174 billion higher than in the October-May period last year, far outpacing the $6 billion growth in net revenues...

The broad category of other programs and activities accounted for almost half of the increase in outlays through May. Spending for that category was up by 12.6 percent on an adjusted basis, reflecting an estimated $19 billion in rebate payments as well as double-digit growth in outlays for refundable tax credits, veterans' health programs, unemployment benefits, and food and nutrition services. Defense outlays have also grown rapidly in recent months, rising by 10 percent through May, compared with 7 percent in fiscal year 2007. Much of the growth this year has been driven by a 14 percent increase in spending for military operations, maintenance, and procurement, well above last year's average gain of 8 percent for those activities.

CBO: Monthly Budget Review

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