Compared to the same time the previous year, the U.S. budget deficit grew by 42 percent from October to December, according to the Treasury Department’s most recent monthly budget report.
Bloomberg reported that the deficit “widened to $319 billion in the first three months of the government’s fiscal year as spending increased and revenue was little changed”.
Receipts climbed by 0.2 percent to $771.2 billion, while spending was up 9.6 percent to $1.1 trillion.
The latest data will likely fan concerns over America’s growing national debt, which topped $22 trillion this week. The fiscal deficit is projected to keep growing and surpass $1 trillion by 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office, fueled in part by President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax-cut package and government spending increases.
Treasury data also showed that both corporate and individual-income tax receipts were down in the quarter, falling to 17.3 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, Bloomberg noted.
The growing budget deficit is concerning for fiscal hawks, who say it risks economic growth and U.S. credit quality. Net interest payments on the national debt jumped 19 percent to $99.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.