US December deficit hits US$144 billion, record for the month

US December deficit hits US$144 billion, record for the month

Illustration photo of a U.S. five dollar note
A US five dollar note is seen in this illustration photo on Jun 1, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas White)

WASHINGTON: The US government posted a December budget deficit of US$144 billion: a record for the month: due to far higher outlays with coronavirus relief spending and unemployment benefits, while revenues ticked slightly higher, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

The Treasury said the December deficit compares with a US$13 billion deficit in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States.

Receipts for the month rose 3 per cent from a year earlier to US$346 billion, while outlays were up 40 per cent to US$490 billion.

December individual withheld income tax receipts were flat, while the Treasury registered increases in non-withheld income taxes and year-end corporate tax payments.

The cumulative US deficit for the first three months of fiscal 2021, which started Oct 1, reached US$573 billion, up from US$357 billion in the pre-pandemic year-earlier period.

Receipts for the first three months of the fiscal year were largely flat at US$803 billion, while outlays were up 18 per cent at US$1.376 trillion.

Source: Reuters/ec

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