© Bloomberg. The U.S. Capitol building stands in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. The Senate returns today with the Trump administration and Democrats no closer to agreement on a new virus relief package than they were when talks broke off in early August, despite the pressure of the U.S. election in 56 days. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg


(Bloomberg) — The U.S. federal budget deficit surpassed $3 trillion in the current fiscal year, nearly triple the 2019 gap and leaving the shortfall as a share of the economy on pace to be the largest since World War II.

August’s $200.1 billion deficit, which little changed from the same month in 2019, pushed the fiscal year’s total past $3 trillion, Treasury Department figures showed Friday. Last year, over the same 11 months, the nation’s budget shortfall was a little more than $1 trillion.

Spending so far this year has exceeded $6 trillion amid a massive government fiscal push to cushion Americans from the pandemic-related lockdown of the economy months ago. At the same time, revenue is slightly less than what it was in the first 11 months of fiscal 2019. The Congressional Budget Office projected earlier this month that the 2020 deficit would be 16% of gross domestic product, the biggest since 1945.

Receipts in August fell 2.1% from a year ago, while spending declined 1.2%, the Treasury’s report showed.

Outlays for federal additional unemployment compensation program totaled $22.5 billion, compared with $73.4 billion a month earlier, after the $600 supplemental weekly jobless payments ended in July. Outlays for state unemployment benefits totaled $31.2 billion after $36.1 billion in July.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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