By Kate Davidson
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government ran a $134 billion budget gap in the first month of the fiscal year as federal spending outpaced revenue growth, pushing the 12-month deficit past $1 trillion for the first time since February 2013.
Federal outlays in October totaled $380 billion, an 8% increase from a year earlier and a record for the month, driven by higher spending on the military, health care and Social Security, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.
Receipts last month totaled $246 billion, a 3% decline from last year, which the Treasury attributed in large part to a shift in the timing of certain payments.
If not for those calendar quirks, revenue would have grown 2% in October from a year earlier, and the deficit would have widened 19% in the first month of fiscal year 2020, the Treasury said.
Over the past 12 months, the government collected $3.4 trillion in revenue and spent $4.4 trillion, bringing the total deficit to just over a trillion dollars, or 4.8% of gross domestic product.
Revenue from customs duties, or tariffs, increased 39% to $2 billion last month, reflecting the higher tariffs the Trump administration has imposed in recent months. That was offset by a decline in excise taxes, which a senior Treasury official attributed part to a moratorium on a fee the government collects from health-care providers under the Affordable Care Act.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 13, 2019 14:17 ET (19:17 GMT)
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