May budget deficit hits record $207.8 billion, reflecting benefit payment shifts.
WASHINGTON — The federal government’s budget deficit in May rose to a record $207.8 billion, 41.5% higher than a year ago. Most of that increase reflected the impact of calendar quirks that shifted $55 billion in June benefit payments into May.
The Treasury Department says the increase in the May deficit from an imbalance of $146.8 billion in May 2018 reflected the fact that because June 1 fell on a Saturday, benefit payments for June were paid out in May.
Through the first eight months of this budget year, the budget deficit totals $738.6 billion, an increase of 38.8% over the same period last year.
Last year’s budget deficit of $779 billion is expected to climb sharply this year with the Trump administration forecasting it will top $1 trillion.