Federal Deficit and Debt: April 2020

Every month the U.S. Treasury releases data on the federal budget, including the current deficit. The following contains budget data for April 2020, which was the seventh month of fiscal year (FY) 2020.

The deficit in April was the largest ever recorded. That budget result stemmed from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and legislative responses to it.

Current Federal Deficit

The federal government ran a budget deficit in the first six months of fiscal year 2020

  • Federal Budget Deficit for April 2020: $738 billion
  • Federal Budget Deficit for April 2019: $160 billion

The deficit for April 2020 was $898 billion larger than the surplus recorded in April 2019. The causes of the sharp increase in the April deficit, which include increased spending and decreased revenues, are explained here.

Cumulative Federal Deficit

Cumulative budget deficits have been larger in recent years

  • Cumulative FY20 Deficit through April 2020: $1,481 billion
  • Cumulative Budget Deficit over same period in FY19: $531 billion

The cumulative deficit through the first seven months of FY20 was $950 billion larger than it was through the first seven months of FY19. The increase in the cumulative deficit reflects a $753 billion increase in outlays and a $197 billion decrease in revenues.

Spending to date is currently outpacing spending from the same period last fiscal year

Revenues to date are largely outpacing revenues from the same time last fiscal year

National Debt

The national debt is on an unsustainable path

  • Debt Held by the Public at the End of April 2020: $19.1 trillion
  • Debt Held by the Public through April 2019: $16.2 trillion

The deficit varies from month to month and some months may even record a surplus — for example, when taxpayers are submitting their personal income taxes at the filing deadline. That is typically in April but has been extended to July this year.

Expert Views: Fiscal Commission

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National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.