Federal deficit hits $134 billion in one month

Federal deficit hits $134 billion in one month
© Greg Nash

The federal deficit reached $134 billion in October, the first month of fiscal 2020, according to data the Treasury Department released Wednesday.

That figure is about 34 percent higher than last October, a sign of a steadily increasing gap between federal spending and revenue.


As a candidate, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE had promised to wipe out the nation’s deficit during his time in office, but deficits have only grown since his inauguration.

The Treasury estimated that the deficit for the 2020 fiscal year would surpass $1 trillion for the first time since 2012. The figure came in just below that milestone in fiscal 2019, hitting $984 billion.

The deficit has spiked following the GOP tax law and multiple bipartisan agreements to increase spending on defense and domestic programs.
The nation's overall debt level surpassed $23 trillion for the first time this month.

Higher deficits and a growing debt load can raise interest rates and limit the tools policymakers have to fight a recession. They also extract financing costs. In October, for example, the government spent $33 billion on financing the debt, about a quarter of the month’s overall deficit.