The federal deficit rose to $691 billion in the first six months of the 2019 fiscal year, up from nearly $600 billion in the same period last year, according to the latest monthly report from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Treasury said it expects the annual deficit to exceed $1 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September. By contrast, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit will remain below $1 trillion until 2022, at which point it is projected to remain above that level for years to come.
The monthly Treasury data told a different story, with the March deficit coming in at $147 billion, smaller than the $209 billion recorded in March of 2018. The smaller gap was driven by a 10 percent drop in spending on programs including defense, education and veterans affairs, and a 9 percent increase in revenue compared to a year ago. Revenue for the first six months is still down slightly compared to a year ago, though, due to the continuing effects of the GOP tax cuts.