September 13, 2018 / 6:04 PM / in a month

U.S. government posts $214 billion deficit in August

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government had a $214 billion budget deficit in August, almost double the amount for the same period last year as outlays swelled, according to Treasury Department data released on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk by the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis

That compared to a budget deficit of $108 billion in the same month last year, the department’s monthly budget statement showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the Treasury posting a $156.5 billion deficit in August.

The government’s deficit was $152 billion when accounting for calendar adjustments. That compared to an adjusted deficit of $108 billion in the same month the prior year.

Economists generally view the corporate and individual tax cuts passed by the Trump administration late last year and an increase in government spending agreed in early February as likely to balloon the nation’s deficit.

The deficit for the fiscal year, which began last October, reached $898 billion, compared to a deficit of $674 billion in the same period of fiscal 2017. On an adjusted basis, the gap of $886 billion compared with $713 billion in the previous period.

Unadjusted receipts last month totaled $219 billion, down 3 percent from August last year, while unadjusted outlays were $433 billion, a jump of 30 percent from the same month in 2017.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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