U.S. Budget Soared $63.2B Last Month

Figures released Monday afternoon seem to show the U.S. government began its new budget year with an October deficit of $63.2 billion, up sharply from a year ago.

The Treasury Department said the October deficit was 37.9%higher than the $45.8-billion deficit recorded in October 2016.

The department also says both government receipts and spending were up for the month, with receipts climbing 14.3% to $235.3 billion, a record for the month of October. The larger spending figure was up a sizable 11.6% to $298.6 billion.

The deficit for the 2017 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30, totaled $666 billion, up 13.7% from a 2016 deficit of $586 billion.

Many forecasters believe the deficit will rise higher in the current budget year, reflecting the impact of proposed tax cuts Congress is considering and hurricane relief.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in June that the deficit for the current budget year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, would fall to $563 billion. However, that estimate did not include money for a tax cut being pushed by the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers. It also did not include increased spending to deal with three devastating hurricanes that have hit the U.S. mainland and territories.