U.S. government posts $147 billion deficit in May

FILE PHOTO: People walk by the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government had a $147 billion budget deficit in May, an increase of 66 percent from the same month last year as the ledger took a hit from declining revenue and higher spending, according to Treasury Department data released on Tuesday.

Treasury reported a budget deficit of $88 billion in the same month last year, the department’s monthly budget statement showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the Treasury recording a $144 billion deficit in May.

When accounting for calendar adjustments, the government’s deficit was $131 billion compared to an adjusted deficit of $88 billion in the same month in the previous year.

Economists caution that the Trump administration’s corporate and individual tax cuts along with an increase in government spending will drive up the country’s deficit despite a robust economy in which the unemployment rate has fallen to an 18-year low.

The deficit for the fiscal year, which began last October, was $532 billion, compared to a deficit of $433 billion in the same period of fiscal 2017. On an adjusted basis, the gap was $584 billion compared with $473 billion in the prior period.

Unadjusted receipts last month totaled $217 billion, down 10 percent from May 2017, while unadjusted outlays were $364 billion, a rise of 11 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci