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Deficit soars to $782 billion in 2018

Deficit soars to $782 billion in 2018

The overall federal deficit soared 17 percent in fiscal year 2018, hitting $782 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

That figure amounts to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 2.4 percent the year before.

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The federal deficit likely would have ticked higher were it not for the timing of certain payments based on when weekends fell. Without the shifted payments, CBO said, the deficit would have reached $826 billion, a 24 percent rise equivalent to 4.1 percent of GDP.

The 2018 fiscal year coincided with the GOP tax law going into effect, cutting back revenues, in addition to a bipartisan spending deal which juiced federal outlays.

As spending rose 3 percent, revenues remained flat, CBO said.

The administration has brushed off concerns regarding the deficit. This week, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow posited that economic growth would end up bringing down the nation's debt level.

Economists, by and large, disagree.

CBO projects that the deficit will near $1 trillion in fiscal year 2019, which began on October 1.