US Budget Deficit Rises To $2.71 Trillion Through August

WASHINGTON — The U.S. budget deficit rose to $2.71 trillion through August, on track to be the second largest in history due to trillions of dollars in COVID relief.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit for the first 11 months of this budget year is 9.9% less than the imbalance during the same period last year.

For the entire budget year, which ends Sept. 30, the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a deficit of $3 trillion, which would be just below the record deficit of $3.13 trillion set last year.

Last year’s deficit was more than double the previous record of $1.4 trillion set in 2009 during the Obama administration as the government was spending heavily to combat the deep recession after the 2008 financial crisis.

For the first 11 months of this budget year, government revenues totaled $3.39 trillion. That marks a healthy increase of 17.7% from last year as the economic rebound from the COVID-induced recession allowed millions of people to go back to work, boosting individual incomes and corporate profits.

Government spending was up a slower 4% to $6.21 trillion. The outlays for both this year and last year reflect the trillions of dollars spent to keep the economy from falling into a prolonged recession by providing individual support payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and billions of dollars in forgivable loans to small businesses.