WASHINGTON, DC — The federal budget deficit hit an all-time high of $3.1 trillion in the 2020 budget year, more than double the previous record, as the coronavirus pandemic shrank revenues and sent spending soaring.
The Trump administration reported Friday that the deficit for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 was three times the size of last year’s deficit of $984 billion. It was also $2 trillion higher than the administration had estimated in February, before the pandemic hit.
It was the government’s largest annual deficit in dollar terms, surpassing the previous record of $1.4 trillion set in 2009. At that time the Obama administration was spending heavily to shore up the nation’s banking system and limit the economic damage from the 2008 financial crisis.
The administration’s final accounting of the 2020 budget year shows that revenues fell by 1.2% to $3.42 trillion, while government spending surged 47.3% to $6.55 trillion. That spending reflects all of the relief programs Congress passed in the spring to shore up the economy as millions of Americans were losing their jobs.