SOGEI website background

The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029

The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029

The Congressional Budget Office regularly publishes reports presenting projections that indicate what federal deficits, debt, revenues, and spending—and the economic path underlying them—would be for the current year and for the next 10 years if existing laws governing taxes and spending generally remained unchanged. This report is the latest in that series. - Deficits. In CBO’s projections, the federal budget deficit is about $900 billion in 2019 and exceeds $1 trillion each year beginning in 2022. Over the coming decade, deficits (after adjustments to exclude shifts in the timing of certain payments) fluctuate between 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), well above the average over the past 50 years (see Chapter 1). CBO’s projection of the deficit for 2019 is now $75 billion less—and its projection of the cumulative deficit over the 2019–2028 period, $1.2 trillion less—than it was in spring 2018. That reduction in projected deficits results primarily from legislative changes—most notably, a decrease in emergency spending (see Appendix A). Debt. Because of persistently large deficits, federal debt held by the public is projected to grow steadily, reaching 93 percent of GDP in 2029 (its highest level since just after World War II) and about 150 percent of GDP in 2049—far higher than it has ever been (see Chapter 1). Moreover, if lawmakers amended current laws to maintain certain policies now in place, even larger increases in debt would ensue (see Chapter 5).