The US Daily Cash Deficit for Thursday 2/26/2015 was $7.8B bringing the February 2015 Deficit through 15 days to $172B.
The most surprising thing about February so far is that refunds have kept pace with 2014. Looking at the YTD….2014 was at $124.5B compared to 2015 at 125.2B. In my forecast, I had reduced my expected refunds by about $10B due to all the hype about Obamacare….looks like maybe it was just that.
Revenues are up about $20B….$10B of that is refund timing, and the rest is bonafide revenue growth. Outlays are at +$6B….primarily interest payment timing…..which will be be offset by another interest payment at the end of the month….where ~$6B of interest payments slip to 3/2 due to the weekend.. Put it all together, and revenue is looking at about +4% on the year, with outlays more or less flat. If I had to guess….with 95% of the data in, Friday 2/27 will post about a ~$30B deficit pushing us just over $200B for the month, and just under my $210B forecast.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for Friday 2/20/2015 was $3.7B pushing the February 2015 deficit through 20 days to $139B.
Revenues are still looking ok at +$22B, with outlays more or less flat. Refunds, excluding the $10B of timing, are more or less on pace with last year. For the year, 2015 has $100B of individual tax refunds vs $99B last year…..so we aren’t seeing a drop off due to Obamacare or anything like that, at least not yet. We have 5 business days left, and are more or less on track to hit a $200B deficit +/-10B or so. Through 52 days, revenue is up 4.6%, a bit worse than I had expected, and outlays are flat versus my expectation of 2-3% growth.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for Tuesday 2/17/2015 was $18.6B as strong post holiday revenues were overwhelmed by $37.5B of interest payments.
For the most part, our timing issues are behind us, giving us a fairly clean YOY comparison. Revenue is up a healthy $19B….About $8B of that is lower refunds….primarily timing related. I don’t really see a material slowdown in refunds due to “obamacare”…yet. Last refunds over the last 8 days of the month ran at about a $6.5B clip per day….if 2015 runs even $1B per day under that it could open up a big gap by the end of the month.
Outlays stand at +$5B, which is basically flat after pulling out the $6B of interest that slipped from January to February. Put it together and despite the $103B deficit, we seem on track to put a good month in the books as revenue is growing and outlays are flat. If we stay on this course, we have a chance to slide in under a $200B deficit, but it is really going to come down to refunds.
Shifting down to the second row of charts, 2015 revenue is looking ok…at +4%, with outlays pretty much flat.
The US Daily Cash Surplus for Monday 2/9/2015 was $2.2B bringing the February 2015 deficit through 9 days to $37B.
Thanks to $19B of refunds that went out 2/10/2014, depressing recognized revenues, 2015 has pulled back ahead in revenues, and refunds are essentially now even as well with 2014 at $31B and 2015 at $32B. Last year ended up at $128B for the month….I am not expecting 2015 to keep pace, but you never know. Through 6 days, revenue is up about $4B on what looks like bonafide growth, and outlays are up $6B on timing. To put it in perspective, we seem like we are on track for a $200B+ deficit for the 7th February in a row in a row.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for Friday 2/6/2015 was $9.5B bringing the February 2015 deficit through 6 days to $39B.
As expected, refunds dominate the chart, with 2015 back out to a $14B lead that is holding back net revenues in a big way. As it stands, revenue is down and outlays are up…..but adjusted for timing and pulling refunds out, it’s not so bad….yet. Withheld taxes show a glimmer of hope at +7% and $4B. While dwarfed by refund noise so far, this is by far the largest revenue source, so establishing a solid growth base here would be a positive development. For the year, this category is at +3.6% after a not so great January, but the year is young.