US December deficit quadruples as outlays grow, revenues fall By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US Dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration picture taken June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Law/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US government’s budget deficit for December quadrupled from a year earlier to $85 billion as receipts shrank slightly and outlays grew to a new December record, led by higher interest costs on the federal debt, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

The Treasury said receipts for December shrank by 7% from December 2021 to $455 billion as individual withheld receipts from 2022 year-end bonuses fell and Federal Reserve earnings fell to zero from $12 billion a year earlier.

December outlays grew 6% to $540 billion as interest on the public debt grew by $9 billion from a year earlier and Social Security outlays rose because of cost-of-living adjustments, a Treasury official said.

For the first three months of fiscal 2023, which began in October, the government reported a deficit of $421 billion, a 12% increase over the same period of fiscal 2022, with receipts down 3% to $1.026 trillion, and outlays up 1% to $1.447 trillion, also a record for the period.

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