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U.S. deficit skyrockets past $500 billion(sick!), posing economic concerns

U.S. deficit

The U.S. government recently disclosed a concerning escalation in its budget deficit, revealing that during the first quarter of the fiscal year (from October 2023 to December 2023), it reached a staggering sum of nearly $510 billion, as reported by the Treasury Department on Thursday. This marked increase is particularly notable, with the month of December alone contributing to a shortfall of $129.4 billion, reflecting a significant 52% surge compared to the same period the previous year. Consequently, the total government debt has now breached the $34 trillion mark for the very first time.

In comparison to the preceding fiscal year, which concluded with a deficit of $1.7 trillion, the current fiscal year of 2024 is experiencing even more substantial financial strain. Examining the initial quarter of fiscal 2023, we find that the difference between spending and receipts amounted to $421.4 billion. On an unadjusted basis, this signifies an $89 billion increase between fiscal 2024 and the prior year. Adjusted for calendar factors, the Treasury Department reported a $97 billion change between the two years. It's noteworthy that December's deficit was more than $34 billion higher than the previous year, primarily driven by increased Social Security payments and interest costs.

The alarming trend suggests that if the present trajectory persists, 2024 could conclude with a deficit surpassing $2 trillion. This ominous deficit accrual contradicts the assurances from the Biden administration, which claimed that the Inflation Reduction Act, designed to reduce prices, would also significantly decrease the deficit by "hundreds of billions."

Despite a recent decline in the inflation rate, data from the Labor Department revealed a 0.3% increase in the consumer price index for December. This pushed the 12-month rate up to 3.4%, surpassing both the Wall Street consensus and the Federal Reserve's 2% goal. The government's financing costs in 2023, amplified by elevated interest rates as the Federal Reserve combats inflation, totaled nearly $660 billion. Additionally, the debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product rose to 120% in the third quarter of 2023. This indicates a growing financial burden that demands careful attention and strategic measures to address the implications on the nation's economic stability.


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