Outlook for the Budget and the Economy

CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook, typically produced in January each year and updated in August, includes an economic forecast and projections of spending and revenues under current law—known as baseline projections—over the next 10 years. CBO also updates its budget projections each spring in conjunction with its analysis of the President's budgetary proposals. By showing outcomes if current laws generally remained in place, the baseline projections provide the Congress with a benchmark against which to measure the effects of proposed changes in spending and tax laws. CBO also analyzes the long-term budget outlook.

  • Report August 27, 2014

    The deficit this year will be $506 billion, CBO estimates, about $170 billion lower than the deficit in 2013. After a weak first half of this year, CBO expects economic growth to pick up and the unemployment rate to continue to fall.

  • Report July 15, 2014

    If current laws remained generally unchanged, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2039 and would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy—a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.

  • Graphic April 18, 2014

    This infographic is part of a set of four about the federal budget. See how much the government spent and took in during 2013 as well as other information about the budget, deficits, and debt.

  • Report April 14, 2014

    The deficit will decrease to $492 billion in 2014, CBO projects. But under current law, deficits will begin rising again in 2016—and by 2024, debt will reach 78 percent of GDP, twice the average of the past 40 years.

  • Report February 4, 2014

    Under current law, deficits will drop through 2015 but rise thereafter, boosting the already high federal debt, CBO projects. Economic growth will be solid in the near term, but unemployment will not drop below 6.0 percent until 2017.

  • Report December 20, 2013

    Federal debt is projected to rise significantly over the long term. What policy changes could reduce future deficits and thus lower the trajectory of federal debt? What criteria might be used to evaluate those policy changes?