What Is the National Deficit?


Quick Answer

The national deficit is the amount by which the amount the government outlays for the fiscal year exceeds total receipts for the year. As of 2015, the U.S. deficit is estimated to be about $564 billion.

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Full Answer

The national deficit is contrasted with the national debt, which is the total amount of money that the federal government owes to its creditors. The national debt is an aggregate of all deficits, and while deficits affects the overall debt, deficit reduction does not necessarily correspond with debt reduction. As of 2015, the national debt stands at approximately $18.5 billion. Although the national debt represents more than 20 percent of all world debt, it is approximately two-thirds the size of the U.S. gross domestic product.

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