POLITICS: PennAve

White House projects smaller deficit, slower growth

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Beltway Confidential,White House,Federal Budget,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Analysis

The White House expects the federal budget to shrink by over $200 billion this fiscal year, the Office of Management and Budget announced Monday.

The OMB projects the deficit for Fiscal Year 2013 to check in at $759 billion in its Mid-Session Review released Monday, revised down from the $973 billion the office projected in the president’s 2014 Budget.  Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of OMB, announced the improved deficit in a blog post on OMB’s website, writing that “we do not need to choose between making critical investments necessary to help grow our economy and support middle class families and continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way.”

According to the OMB’s figures, the improved deficit picture is mainly the result of higher tax receipts, cuts to domestic programs from the budget sequestration that took effect in March, and dividend payments from the government-owned mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The new figures show the deficit falling in 2016 to its lowest level as a percent of Gross Domestic Product since before President Obama’s inauguration. It would be 3.1 percent in that year, falling to 2.1 percent of GDP at the end of the budget window in 2023.

The OMB also revised down its projections from economic growth, despite better-than-expected employment numbers. The Mid-Session Review anticipates 2.4 percent growth in 2014 and 3.4 percent during 2014, assuming that President Obama’s preferred policies are put into place. That would include undoing the automatic sequestration spending cuts.

In its most recent projections, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the 2013 deficit would total $642 billion.

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