US Daily Cash Deficit 4/17/2014

The US Daily Cash Surplus for Thursday 4/17/2014 was $12.2B bringing the April 2014 Surplus through 17 days to $26B.

2014-04-17 USDD

Taxes not withheld were down again YOY…~$11B last year vs. $10B 4/17/2014. It’s not a big swing, but remember we are really looking for at least 10% growth from this category. On the other hand, taxes withheld were unusually strong for a Thursday just about bringing that category back to even YOY after being down a bit for most of the month.

Through 17 days, April is still looking a little better than 2013 but no real sign of a breakout…yet. There is still plenty of time for a nice upside swing, but we really need to see it soon, so all eyes on next Tuesday which looks like it could make or break the month.

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US Daily Cash Deficit 4/16/2014

The US Daily Cash Surplus for Wednesday 4/16/2014 was $2.1B bringing the April 2014 surplus to $14B through 16 days.

2014-04-16 USDD

Yesterday I mentioned that it was a good day with one lingering question…was the spike in taxes not withheld timing, or the start of a new surge? For now…the answer seems to be timing. To recap, 4/15/2013 had ~$5B of taxes not withheld compared to 4/15/2014 at ~$19B….an impressive, and unprecedented gain. However 4/16/2013 came in at $23B compared to 4/16/2014 at only $10B…giving up just about all of yesterday’s gain. Never fret…there is still plenty of time left for new surprises, but for now…eh….definitely some signs of weakness. For the month, revenues are up 7%. Not shabby by any stretch, but not as exciting as the +15% we were looking at yesterday.

No more reports until next week  on account of Easter. Tuesday is the next big day. I’m not versed enough in the tax deadlines to understand why, but the 4th Tuesday of April looks to have a revenue spike every year…Last year taxes not withheld on Tuesday 4/23/2013 came in at $47B…the highest day of the year, so the 2014 over under will be interesting if nothing else.

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US Daily Cash Deficit 4/15/2014

The US Daily Cash Surplus for Tax Day, Tuesday 4/15/2014 was a very healthy $63.5B, wiping out the monthly deficit and bringing us to a $12B surplus at the halfway point.

2014-04-15 USDD

For comparison, 4/15/2013 had a $48.9B surplus. Corporate taxes, the biggest haul of the day came in at $32.9B compared to $32.3B last year….so basically flat. Curiously, taxes not withheld came in at $19.2B compared to just $4.7B last year. Is this a sign of another blowout April, or just a timing issue? My gut says timing, but I flipped back all the way to 2008…the last time 4/15 was on a Tuesday, and see no precedent for such a large spike.

Typically, those who owe large tax bills write checks and drop them in the mail around 11:59PM 4/15…thus getting a 4/15 postal stamp and adding at least a few days before the check actually clears their account. Last year, 4/16 brought in $23B of taxes not withheld, and they continued to pour in at elevated levels for the rest of the month.

So tomorrow….if we see 24B+, we can probably assume it was not just a one off timing event. If, however we see it fall and the two days average out the same as last year, it was likely timing.

All together, we have to look at the day as a positive, with a small question mark to be resolved tomorrow. Through half a month, we have solid 5%+ gains across most of our major revenue categories with the exceptions being taxes not withheld at +65%…see note above, and withheld taxes down 4%, representing a $3.6B decrease. This is curious, but not necessarily alarming…yet. Outlays are mostly flat. There is still a lot of month left, but so far, so good.

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US Daily Cash Deficit 4/14/2014

The US Daily Cash Surplus for Monday 4/14/2014 was $18.6B pulling the April Deficit through 14 days to $51B. This deficit is unlikely to last much longer…if it isn’t wiped out tomorrow, Wednesday will…..that’s a good thing by the way :)

2014-04-14 USDD

Now to the charts. Remember…no adjustments here. 4/14/2013 was a Sunday, so while we are even on business days, we do have some distortions. Outlays are still flat, but 2014 revenues have finally taken a clear lead. This of course was expected, but I won’t be too impressed until it sticks for at least a few more days.

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March 2014 Update: Social Security Enrollment

In March 2014 the SS rolls added 143k to the headcount bringing the total to 58.341M. This compares to a 138k add last March, breaking a 4 month string of improvement.

2014-04-14 March SS Analysis

It’s just a one month break in a downward trend dating back to the last peak in December 2009 at 1.6M, so it’s nothing to get excited about either way. The rolls are growing by over 1.1M people per year, and cash outlays are growing at 8% annually, which is a combination of additional people, COLA adjustments, and new retirees coming into the system with higher monthly payments than the people they are replacing.

As I’ve explained before, I monitor this series primarily to look for signs of a new spike similar to what we saw between 2008 and 2009. If this correlated with a decrease in revenues, we would have a pretty clear sign that a recession is either already in progress or imminent. As it stands, we see neither. Revenue is at all time highs and growing at about 12% through the first 100 days of 2014. Retirements…while still high historically, continue to trend down….slowly. It’s clearly too soon to declare that everything is going to be ok, but even I must admit….things have been a lot worse.

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