The federal budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2019 was $984 billion (4.7 percent of GDP), according to a preliminary estimate issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday. This would be an increase of $205 billion over the 2018 deficit and the fourth year in a row when the deficit rose as a share of the economy. The Treasury Department will report final numbers later this month.
Spending grew by eight percent in 2019, outpacing the four percent growth in revenues.
Interest on the debt ($423 billion) increased by 14 percent and was the fastest growing major category of expense. This should be a reminder to policymakers that even with unusually low interest rates, the cost of serving the debt is growing because of the huge amount of new debt being added each year.