U.S. November deficit rises sharply as revenues fall, outlays jump

The November U.S. budget deficit jumped by $57 billion or 30% from a year earlier to $249 billion, a record for the month, as revenues fell and outlays for education, healthcare and interest on the public debt rose sharply, the U.S. Treasury said on Monday.

Receipts for November fell 10% or $29 billion from a year earlier to $252 billion, while outlays rose 6% or $28 billion to $501 billion, also a November record.

Driving the revenue decline was a 4% drop in individual withheld tax receipts, a 64% increase in individual tax refunds and a 98% decline in Federal Reserve earnings.

The outlays were driven by a $14 billion, or 18% increase in Medicare costs, and an $11 billion, or 94% increase in education costs due to changes in direct student loan programs and public service loan forgiveness, a Treasury official said.

The Treasury’s interest costs on U.S. public debt grew 53% or $19 billion during November, but this was largely offset by a $17 billion decline in tax credits for children and low-income workers. For the first two months of fiscal 2023, the Treasury’s interest payments are up $48 billion, or 87%.

The Treasury’s deficit for the first two months of fiscal 2023 was down 6%, or $20 billion, to $336 billion, with outlays down 2% and revenues up 1% compared to the year earlier period.