The federal government's budget deficit rose sharply in March, pushing the deficit for the first six months of this budget year above the same period a year ago. The Treasury Department says the deficit for March totaled 108.0 billion. That marks the biggest March deficit in four years and was more than double the imbalance in March 2015. The large jump from a year ago reflected calendar shifts, which had made the 2015 deficit look smaller because 36 billion in benefit payments were shifted into February. Through the first six months of this budget year that began on Oct. 1, the deficit totals 461.0 billion.
WASHINGTON – The federal budget deficit has surged to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, its highest level in six years as President Donald Trump's tax cuts caused the government to borrow more heavily in order to cover its spending. The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit climbed $113 billion from fiscal 2017. Debt will likely worsen in the coming years with the Trump administration expecting the deficit to top $1 trillion in 2019, nearly matching the $1.1 trillion imbalance from 2012. The deficit worsened because tax revenues are not keeping pace with government spending. The government's fiscal year runs from October to September, unlike calendar years that begin in January.
The federal government piled up a record deficit in April, traditionally a month of big budget surpluses. The sea of red ink is being created by a drop in revenue and a massive increase in spending to fund efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the government racked up a shortfall of $737.9 billion last month. That was more than three times larger than the previous record monthly deficit of $235 billion set in February. The deficit so far for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 climbed to $1.48 trillion.
Japan logged a goods trade deficit for the third consecutive month in September, weighed down especially by weak exports to China, South Korea and other Asian countries, government data showed Monday. The trade deficit came to ¥122.98 billion, following a revised ¥143.53 billion deficit in August, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry. In the reporting month, exports dropped 5.2 percent from a year earlier to ¥6.37 trillion, marking the 10th straight monthly decline. Imports were also down 1.5 percent to ¥6.49 trillion, falling for the fifth consecutive month, due to decreasing purchases of commodities, including crude oil from Saudi Arabia. For the first half of fiscal 2019, Japan's goods trade recorded a deficit of ¥847.99 billion, marking the second consecutive half-year period of red ink.