US February 2013 Cash Deficit Review: Part 2

And now for the stunning conclusion part 2…part 1 is here¬†if you missed it.

Outlays:

Outlays for 2/2013 ended up at $324B, down $5B from last February’s $329B of outlays…that’s 1.49% if you don’t have a calculator handy. Small, but lets give credit where credit is due. Yet…there’s nothing terribly surprising about this…for a couple of years now, we have seen relatively flat spending as increases driven by the ever growing entitlement programs are mostly offset by decreases in other areas. The spreadsheet below shows the 32 categories for outlays I track, with 2012 vs 2013 YOY and YOY% on the far right columns

022013 Outlays by Type

Right at the top we see that payments to defense vendors and the education department are down by a combined 6.5B…pre sequester, and “Other” is down an additional $4.5B. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare combine for a $6.8B increase, with unemployment payments down $2.7B…which is in line with the trend we have seen over the last year.
One quick note on the federal crop insurance line that went from zero to $1.9B… The DTS is not terribly consistant about reporting “Other” expenses unless there is a large outlay on a particular day. Because of this, I catch what I can, but some of it inevitably falls into my “other” category. In total, we get to the correct¬†total outlays figure, but some of the smaller categories don’t necessarily have the most accurate data. In this case, it is likely that there were at least some outlays in February 2012, but none ended up being large enough to make it onto the DTS. Bottom line with Outlays…it’s great we saw a decrease, but this is nowhere near being a material shift…it will be interesting to see what, if any effect the sequester has over the next few months.
Daily Deficit for 3/4: Although I couldn’t help myself on the 3/1 charts, I’m going to wait another couple days before I resume the YOY charts. If you just have to know, 3/4/2013 ran a $5B surplus on strong Monday revenues. I will wrap up the February review tomorrow with a look at debt