Federal budget

U.S. budget deficit up nearly 40% from last year

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Treasury Department says the U.S. budget deficit has increased to $738.6 billion in the first 8 months of the fiscal year — up $206 billion from the same time last year, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

Why it matters: The deficit has continued to grow under President Trump as a result of Republican tax cuts and increased government spending, reports Bloomberg. Even increased customs revenue stemming from tariffs — which Trump falsely insists is being paid for by China — has failed to bridge the widening gap. The deficit is expected to reach $897 billion by the end of the year.

Go deeper... Chart: How the U.S. budget deficit has fluctuated since the 1980s

Chart: How the U.S. budget deficit has fluctuated since the 1980s

The U.S. budget deficit grew 77% in the first 4 months of the 2019 fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1) from the year prior, driven by sweeping tax cuts passed at the end of 2017 and increased federal spending.

Data: Factset; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The big picture: President Trump is acting true to history. Every Republican president since Reagan has left office with a budget deficit higher than the one he inherited. Clinton and Obama, by contrast, left office with smaller deficits.