Federal deficit surged in October as pandemic spending continued: CBO

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The federal budget deficit surged in October to $284 billion, according to a preliminary accounting Monday by the Congressional Budget Office, reversing several months of relatively good news as coronavirus spending remained elevated.

It was still far better than the early depths of the pandemic in April, May and June, when the government amassed about $2 trillion in deficits in those three months alone.

But October was the worst month on record, save for those three months.

By contrast, the government saw deficits of $63 billion in July, $200 billion in August and $124.6 billion in September.

Most of the damage came from spending, which was $141 billion, or 37%, more than October 2019, before the pandemic hit.

CBO said revenue was down $8 billion, or 3%, compared to the same month last year.

CBO’s numbers are early projections. Final numbers will be released by the Treasury Department later this week.

The deficit was almost absent from the discussion during the presidential campaign, with neither President Trump nor Joseph R. Biden, the presumptive winner, putting forth a plan to get debt under control once the pandemic is surmounted.

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