By Sharon Nunn
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government's budget deficit widened 21% in the first ten months of the fiscal year when compared with the same period a year earlier -- as spending jumped.
The deficit, or the difference between the amount of money the federal government spent and what it took in, totaled $683.97 billion in October through July, the Treasury Department said Friday. The deficit was $566.02 billion during the same period a year earlier.
Friday's release showed the federal budget deficit was $76.87 billion in July, 79% wider than July 2017's deficit. Government revenue fell 3% last month compared with a year earlier, while spending grew 10%.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said earlier this week it expected revenues and outlays to climb 1% and 4%, respectively.
Deficits are rising partly because business and individual tax rates were cut last year, while government spending has been ramped up. White House representatives argue reductions in tax rates spur economic growth and raise tax revenue by boosting taxable household and business income.
The rising deficit has boosted borrowing by the U.S. Treasury Department, which recently announced it would increase auctions of U.S. debt by an additional $30 billion over the next three months. In all, the Treasury plans to borrow $329 billion from July through September -- up $56 billion from the agency's April estimate -- in addition to $440 billion in October through December. The figures are 63% higher than what the Treasury borrowed during the same six-month period last year.
The Treasury gets cash to fund the government in exchange for selling the securities.
Write to Sharon Nunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 10, 2018 14:22 ET (18:22 GMT)
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