The numbers: The federal government’s budget deficit soared in June to a record $864 billion as Washington doled out huge sums of money to try to stave off a depression and save the economy from the coronavirus.
The increase last month pushed the budget gap for the current fiscal year to a record $2.7 trillion, compared to $747 billion in the same nine-month period last year, the U.S. Treasury Department said Monday.
The government operates on annual budget that runs from Oct 1. to Sept. 30 instead of using the calendar year more common in the business world.
The last time the U.S. ran such huge deficits — measured as a percentage of the economy — was during World War Two.
What happened: Washington spent $1.11 trillion last month, up from $572 billion in May. In the same month a year earlier, outlays were a much smaller $342 billion.
Tax and other revenue totaled just $241 billion in June. A year earlier, the government took in $333 billion.
Tax receipts have fallen because of a depressed economy and an extended deadline for payment because of the pandemic. Deferments were pushed out to July from April for many tax filers.
Big picture: The U.S. is on track to register a record $3.7 trillion deficit this year owing to an unprecedented effort to prop up the economy during the pandemic.
Washington has already funneled huge sums of money into direct payments to households, extended unemployment benefits, small-business loans and bailout of industries deemed critical such as airlines. Congress could also add more than $1 trillion in additional emergency-relief measures before the end of summer.
The economy is likely to need lots of help at least through the end of the year with tax revenues down and so many people and companies in need of support