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.
The US Daily Cash Deficit for Thursday 2/5/2015 was $5.0B bringing the February 2015 deficit to $30B through 5 days.
Refunds for 2015 stand at $15.5B vs $11.8B last year, so the gap has been closed considerably as expected. The pace of refunds should pick up next week….2014 posted $58B of refunds in the second week of February. I was flipping through last February’s posts and it jogged my memory about the brief debt ceiling fight about this time last year that ended up with a clean debt limit hike through March 2015. There was a week or two where Treasury was using “extrordinary measures” to circumvent the limit. When they do that, it screws up the cash deficit calculations, because they essentially take debt off the balance sheet and pretend like it doesn’t exist. Since EM started and were resolved in the same period it didn’t cause any issues for the monthly cash deficit calculation, but it did end up screwing up a lot of the day to day. The other day I noted that the month would be a pretty clean YOY comparison since we started on the same day and had the same number of business days. Turns out….that’s not going to be the case until about 2/19 when all of the EM was unwound last year. Until then, our outlays and deficit are going to be out of sync…especially next week. Revenues should be still in sync though, so sit back and enjoy the show.