Moving on to October…the US Daily Cash Deficit for Friday 10/3/2014 was $22.5B following Thursday’s $0.5B deficit and Wednesday’s $27.7B deficit leaving the October 2014 deficit through 3 days at $51B…that’s just $12B shy of clearing out September’s $63B surplus.
Some notes to start off the month. As always…we are adjusting 2013 vs 2014 based on days of the week. So our charts today are comparing 2014 through Friday 10/3 to 2013 through Friday 10/4. This gives 2013 an extra business day for now which it will catch back at the end of the month. So with that in mind…2013 has an extra day of revenues and outlays….what’s most important to focus on is the change over the rest of the month. Right now, revenues are at -4B and outlays are at -3B leaving the deficit at $+1B.
Forecasting this month is a bit tricky. First, we are coming off a pretty good month….was it a one time anomaly or will it continue? Most of the gain came from corporate taxes and taxes not withheld…which is primarily a quarterly event….so we can’t really expect a lot of help in October. The timing of the days is favorable though, so I think beating 5% is a real possibility. The second tricky thing is month end….which falls on a Friday, which means payments due Saturday 11/1 will get pulled forward. It’s not rocket science, but there still seems to be some randomness I’m not great at forecasting yet. So…with last October’s deficit at $87B….I’ll just pick a nice round number at $100B for October 2014. Revenues will be up, but the timing issue will more than wipe this out pushing the October deficit up relative to 2013….and of course the November deficit down. Oh…and looking back to last month….for the record…my initial forecast was a $60B surplus vs the actual of $63B….not too shabby:)
The US Daily Cash Surplus for Tuesday 9/30/2014 was $6.3B bringing the September 2014 surplus to $63B for the full month compared to a $59B surplus in September 2013.
It was an interesting month….Revenues were up 9.5% on solid corporate taxes and excise taxes. Outlays on the other hand were up 10.3%, mostly due to timing that shifted $18B from August to September (compared to last year) but also bonafide growth, including Medicaid up 31%….$6.6B.
GSE dividends….which I’ve been mentioning lately came in at a very dissapointing $5.6B…..compared to 14.6B a year ago and $10.2B just last quarter. My guess….Freddie and Fannie’s accountants are running out of ways to fake income with journal entries. That’s bad news for the deficit because in 2013 Fannie/Freddie contributed about $130B of “revenue to federal coffers. At this pace, 2014 will be lucky to break $40B…..and 2015 could be half that assuming a $5B/quarter pace.
However, despite the GSE disappointment, excise taxes came out of nowhere to save the day from $11B last year nearly doubling to $20B, including $13B over the last two days of the month.
At the end of the day….it was a pretty good month.Revenue….+9.5%, up $33B YOY, and it was solid across the board including taxes withheld, not withheld, corporate and excise taxes, and all despite a pretty big GSE miss. For revenue, this is the best month in the last six. In fact, if we look back to April when the apparent slowdown began, April-August combined ran at only +0.5% good for a $7B YOY gain. Admittedly….this period in 2013 was tainted by Fannie/Freddie payments, but the numbers are legitimate. Compare that to just September at +$33B.
After pulling out timing, outlays were up ~3% or so…which is actually what I would expect typical growth to be, but definitely a divergence from the flat outlays we have seen for the last 4-5 years. So the question I have….is this an anomaly….or are revenues picking back up after a soft patch? Stay tuned!! I don’t have an October forecast finalized yet, but it’s likely to be in the ballpark of $100B…more than enough to wipe out September’s surplus and kick off FY2015 with a bang.