The federal government posted a $69.1 billion deficit for the first six months of fiscal 2019 that started Oct. 1, an increase from the deficit of $56.9 billion at the same point in fiscal 2018, the Treasury Department reported on Wednesday.
The increase in the deficit is mostly due to the expectation that this fiscal year will see a significant boost in taxes after the passage of the sweeping American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This year also marks the first half of the calendar year without automatic budget resolutions tied to the annual budget process for fiscal 2018, which is a change.
In contrast, the deficit over the last five years averaged about $135 billion a year, the Treasury Department said.
The rest of the year will likely reveal whether the deficits will rise much more than they have so far. President Donald Trump’s administration has predicted that the federal deficit will total $1.3 trillion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.