The final total of the government's red ink is in for fiscal year 2011 which, at $1.299 trillion, just edges past the prior year's deficit of $1.294 trillion. September, which is the final month of the government's fiscal year, shows a roughly as expected deficit of $64.6 billion.
Outlays in fiscal year 2011 totaled $3.601 trillion, up 4.2 percent from the prior year. Net interest expense jumped 15.7 percent in the year with Medicare up 7.5 percent. The two largest outlay components, social security at $730.8 billion and defense at $708.3 billion, show year-on-year respective gains of 3.4 percent and 2.1 percent.
On the other side of the ledger, receipts, at 2.303 trillion, rose 6.5 percent and were boosted by a 21.5 percent jump in individual income taxes which totaled $1.092 trillion. Corporate income taxes, at $181 billion, fell 5.4 percent in the year.
There is one indication of improvement in the fiscal year and that is the deficit relative to GDP which, because of stronger economic growth, shrank slightly to a still very outsized 8.7 percent vs 9.0 percent in the prior fiscal year. The size of the U.S. government is striking, summed up by the $3.6 trillion in annual spending.
The U.S. Treasury monthly budget report showed an August deficit of $134.2 billion to lift the fiscal year-to-date deficit to $1.23 trillion which was just under the $1.26 trillion deficit for this time last year. Looking ahead, the month of September typically shows a moderate surplus. Over the past 10 years, the average surplus for the month of September has been $29.8 billion and $27.0 billion over the past 5 years. The September 2010 budget number came in at deficit of $34.6 billion.