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U.S. logs $660B budget deficit in March as pandemic stimulus rolls out

By
Don Jacobson
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer sign the American Rescue Plan COVID relief bill on March 10. The stimulus bill produced a $660 billion budget deficit in March, officials said. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer sign the American Rescue Plan COVID relief bill on March 10. The stimulus bill produced a $660 billion budget deficit in March, officials said. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

April 12 (UPI) -- The United States spent nearly $660 billion more than it collected in revenues during March and its 2021 deficit surged to $1.7 trillion due to pandemic stimulus spending, officials reported Monday.

The U.S. Treasury's monthly report on the government's receipts and outlays showed red ink of $659.6 billion in March -- the third-biggest monthly deficit in the country's history.

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Meanwhile, the total deficit of $1.7 trillion during the first half of fiscal year 2021 nearly doubled the previous six-month record of $829 billion set 10 years ago. It was 130% higher than last year's figure, the report showed.

The March deficit was driven primarily by $453 billion disbursed through $1,400 pandemic stimulus payments sent to U.S. taxpayers. The United States spent a total of $927 billion during the month as President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan took effect, the Treasury reported.

Tax revenues rose 13% over March 2020 to $267.6 billion, indicating the economy is continuing to recover from the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Administration officials told reporters that high monthly deficits will likely continue for the rest of the year as the pandemic stimulus efforts continue to be implemented.

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