Wednesday, August 12, 2009

U.S. Posts $180.68 Billion Deficit for July

Year-to-date federal-government spending totaled $3.01 trillion
By Jeff Bater
Wall Street Jounal

The federal government spent more than it pocketed a 10th straight month during July, nearing a record last set in 1992 for a string of deficits.

Burdened by Wall Street bailout costs and shriveled corporate profits, the government was $180.68 billion in the red during July, the Treasury Department said Wednesday in its monthly budget statement. July 2008's federal budget deficit was $102.77 billion.

The deficit record for any month is $193.86 billion, in February this year.

For the first 10 months of fiscal 2009, the deficit widened to $1.267 trillion, more than triple the $388.62 billion for the first 10 months of fiscal 2008.

Fiscal years start Oct. 1. The White House has predicted the deficit will total $1.841 trillion this fiscal year. The biggest deficit for any fiscal year on record is $454.8 billion, rung up in fiscal 2008.

Wall Street was on target predicting the July 2009 deficit. A survey of economists by Dow Jones Newswires forecast $180 billion.

The string of 10 monthly deficits isn't a record. There have been 11 in a row three times, the last time being May 1991 through March 1992.

July 2009 federal government spending totaled $332.18 billion, compared with $263.26 billion in July 2008.

Year-to-date federal-government spending totaled $3.01 trillion, compared with $2.48 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal 2008.

Gross spending on the Troubled Asset Relief Program totaled $169.13 billion year to date. TARP was created late last year to rescue Wall Street and stem a financial sector meltdown.

Spending for benefits to the nation's jobless totaled $80.24 billion. Since the recession began in December 2007, 6.7 million jobs have been lost.

Federal government interest payments on the national debt year-to-date were $167.71 billion. Defense spending ran at $552.22 billion. Veterans benefits were $82.84 billion. Social Security totaled $568.54 billion.

The Treasury report said it bought $7.22 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities during July; year to date, purchases totaled $153.25 billion.

July federal government receipts totaled $151.5 billion, down from $160.49 billion a year earlier.

Year-to-date federal government revenue totaled $1.74 trillion, compared with $2.09 trillion for the first 10 months of fiscal 2008. Individual income-tax receipts totaled $750.38 billion, compared with $943.89 billion. Corporate taxes totaled $104.48 billion, compared with $246.8 billion.

The Treasury said it plans to release budget data for August on Sept. 11.