The US Daily Cash deficit for 10/23/2013 was $11.6B as the final SS checks of the month went out totaling $12.3B. This brings the October 2013 deficit through 23 days to $66B. We did see a small trickle of those delayed payments start going out today starting with 2.6B of tax refunds and $0.5B for the Commodity Credit Corporation….whatever the heck that is.
Revenues continue to make small gains vs. 2012 and are now at +$12B. If they continue at this pace, hitting +10% seems likely, which will be good for a symbolic win if nothing else. For the rest of the month, I’ll be keeping my eyes on revenues.
Perhaps of note…though it’s not set in stone, the vast majority of SS payments have gone out, and for the second month in a row it is looking like outlays were pretty much flat. August ended up at $61.632B…October is sitting at $61.671B…only $39M higher. For reference, in a typical month, we’ve been seeing about +$300M, with some seasonal variation. Quick math tells us that +100k people at $1163 per month would add about $125M to the baseline. Very interesting…. I have SS projected to grow at about 5% per year due to COLA increases and increased enrollment at higher monthly benefits. If we see a few more months like this, I may have to think about adjusting my forecast down a bit even though I had expected this to be a bit conservative. Oh well…when the facts change…so must the forecast….fingers crossed!! For what it’s worth…last October was at $56.949B…8.3% lower, so these last 3 months might just be an aberration. COLA increases go out in December, which should be good for a $1B bump at least, so one way or another, this won’t last more than another month or two.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for 10/22/2013 was $1.6B. Revenues continue to gain ground on 2012 and while they aren’t exactly popping…outlays are starting to come back up as expected with the shutdown over…including $37M of individual tax refunds…the first to go out in about 2 weeks. On the month, refunds look to be down 7.5B over 10/2012…good for the cash deficit…not so good if you happen to be waiting on a tax refund.
There are seven business days left, and the October deficit currently stands at $55B. My original projection for the month was $91B…assuming that the shutdown either wouldn’t happen or would be brief and it’s affects contained in the calendar month. Well the shutdown did happen, and while it is possible all of the back payments are made up by next Thursday, I haven’t seen much evidence yet that it is happening. So while $91B is still possible, we may end up better than $91B if revenues continue to gain ground and our missing outlays don’t materialize in October.
The October 2013 Social Security recipients report was released today showing a monthly increase of 110k people with an average monthly benefit of $1,163…up $1 over September. We continue to see a gradual slowdown…with 20k fewer new enrollments than last October’s 130k increase. The TTM delta is now at 1.227M, so averaging right at 100k per month, though there are large seasonal variations (which is why we look at the TTM).
For reference, we peaked at a TTM rate of 1.624M almost 4 years ago in 12/2009 and have been trending down since then. Still…1.227 is still very high historically. Looking back 10 years to 2013, the rate was under 600k. The course from here will be a very important factor in how quickly the budget deficit deteriorates over the next 5-10 years. On the positive side, though high, the rate is still trending down, and there is a good chance that a lot of the people you would have expected to be retiring now or soon actually already did….causing the 2009 spike…and the subsequent dip.
On the other side, we are still working through the left tail of the boomer population distribution. I have a table published in 2011 that shows the US population by age. As of 2011, there were 2.7M of living Americans born in 1948….who would be turning 65 this year. Contrast that to those born in 1949 at 3.7M. Not sure what they put in the water that year, but roughly 1M more Americans will turn 65 in 2014 than in 2013. From here, we have a steady increase until 2028 when 4.6M born in 1963 will turn 65. Obviously that’s based on the 2011 snapshot and not adjusted for mortality. And while currently, people become eligible for Medicaid at 65, they can apply for SS anytime between 62 and 70…with the benefits growing the longer they wait.
So the main thing I am looking for with this data series is a bottom in the TTM rate and for the trend to turn back up. October 2013 was not that month. I don’t know if it happens next year, or five years from now, but when it does lookout because it’s going to get ugly(er).
The US Daily Cash Surplus for Monday 10/21/2013 was $5.4B bringing the October 2013 cash deficit to $53B with 8 business days remaining in the month.
Revenues continue to gain at about $1B per day…now at +8B for the month. Outlays have yet to recover from the shutdown, which I suppose is understandable. The government has only been reopened for 3 business days….I know if I ever got a 2+ week vacation, it would take me a while to catch back up. Still….no sign of a pickup yet….I’ll keep looking. Tax refunds are another category that is down. No individual tax refunds have gone out since $25M on 10/8 almost 2 weeks ago. The result is that YOY, we are down $3B in that category all else equal.
All this adds up to an apparent $40B improvement, which would certainly be a good number…if it can hold up. As I’ve said before, it looks like at least ~$20B of outlays went unpaid during the shutdown, including salaries. With back pay being part of the agreement, I would expect us to catch back up to most of that, but I simply haven’t seen it yet.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for Friday 10/18/2013 was $2.6B bringing the October Deficit through 18 days to $58B with nine business days remaining.
Revenues continue to make small daily gains and are now sitting at +$7B…certainly within striking distance of the +$20B we need to see to hit out +10% target.
Outlays were stronger, but still no flood. It looks to me like we are at least $20B shy due to the shutdown, but it will probably take a few more weeks to completely catch back up on payments.
On deck for this week….the final SS payment of the month goes out Wednesday, and the monthly SS report is also released showing us how many more people are on SS than last month. Other than that, the rest of the month looks pretty mild leading up to 11/1, which should be a blowout deficit wise.