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CBO Lowers FY 2015 Deficit Estimate

September 3, 2015—The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that the fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget deficit will be $426 billion; $60 billion less than it projected in March. According to the CBO’s estimates, released Aug. 25, this year’s deficit also will be $59 billion less than last year.

At 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), FY 2015 will mark the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a percentage of size of the economy since it peaked in 2009.

CBO anticipates that mandatory outlays will be $199 billion higher in 2015 than in the previous year. Federal spending for the major health care programs accounts for a little more than half of that increase. Outlays for Medicare (net of premiums and other offsetting receipts), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges and related spending are expected to be $110 billion (12 percent) higher this year than they were in 2014.

The outlook for the 10-year projection period does not differ substantially from the one CBO described in March. As in the previous projections, deficits as a percentage of GDP are estimated to remain below this year’s level for the next three years but then begin to rise.

CBO projects spending for mandatory programs to rise from their current level of near 13 percent of GDP to 14 percent by the latter part of the 10-year period, primarily because of significant growth in spending on health care and retirement programs caused by the aging of the population and rising per capita health care costs.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806