Economic Report: U.S. budget deficit widens to $208 billion in May

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Defense payments are growing.

The numbers: The U.S. ran a $208 billion deficit in May, a jump of 41% from a year ago, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

Most of the jump can be explained by June 1 occurring on a weekend, which forced some federal payments into May. Excluding those calendar adjustments, the deficit still would have increased by 8%, with spending up by 6% and revenue up by 4%.

What’s happened: In May, the net interest on the public debt surged by 34% because the Treasury Department had to factor in the adjustment on principal for inflation-protected securities. That won’t be an issue in future months as the total inflation adjustment is actually smaller this year than last, the Congressional Budget Office noted.

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