The federal budget deficit was $3.1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Thursday. The deficit is a record for the United States in terms of total dollars and is a direct result of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving the spike in borrowing were a drop in tax revenues as the economy contracted this spring amid the pandemic recession and a surge in government spending to reinvigorate growth, including enhanced benefits for unemployed workers and widespread aid to large and small businesses.
Federal spending from April through the end of September was $4.2 trillion, nearly double the same period in 2019, the budget office reported. Individual and corporate income tax receipts fell by $191 billion, or about 17 percent, in April through September, compared with the year before.
The 2020 fiscal year concluded at the end of September. The official budget deficit figures will be released by the Treasury Department later this month. The budget office estimates are based on daily figures released by the department.