US budget deficit blasts past USD1 trillion in August

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) budget gap soared past USD1 trillion with a month still to go in the fiscal year – the first time it has surpassed that level since 2009, the Treasury reported on Thursday.

One standout item in the government books was the surge in tariffs collected compared to last year – something US President Donald Trump has long touted as proof he is winning the trade war with China, even though the duties are paid by American companies.

The US deficit in the 11 months through August topped USD1 trillion, 19 per cent higher than the same period of the previous year, as spending increased by more than double the rate of income, according to the monthly report. The US fiscal year used for budgeting ends September 30.

Customs duties going into government coffers surged 73 per cent to USD66 billion, however Trump has imposed a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods that are set to hit on September 1.

Total revenues were up three per cent in the fiscal year-to-date, at over USD3 trillion, but total outlays increased seven per cent compared to a year ago, passing USD4.15 trillion.