White House Releases Mid-Session Review, Lowers Deficit Predictions

Yahoo Contributor Network

The White House Budget Director Jeffrey Zients sent the annual Mid-Session Review (MSR) to both U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Vice President Joe Biden (as President of the Senate) on Friday. The report was an update to earlier predictions regarding U.S. economic growth for both 2012 and 2013, as well as a revised estimate of the projected national budget deficit. The national budget deficit is now projected to end up being slightly less than originally predicted at the beginning of the year. Previous expectations for overall economic growth have been lowered as well.

The report followed figures from the Commerce Department that estimated that GDP grew in the second quarter of this year by just 1.5 percent. The economic outlook for the U.S. is seen as one of the primary issues going into the presidential election in November.

Here are some of the key numbers to emerge from the Mid-Session Review.

1.21: The amount, in trillions, that the budget deficit is now expected to reach this year. Earlier estimates compiled in February had predicted a budget deficit of $1.33 trillion, according to the MSR. Last year's budget deficit was $1.30 trillion.

7.8: The percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) that the deficit will be equal to, per the MSR. Original predictions in February projected that the budget deficit would equal 8.5 percent of GDP for 2012.

3: The percentage of GDP that deficits will be reduced to by 2017, according to Zients. Zients told the media on Friday that "under the president's policies, deficits will be reduced to below 3 percent of GDP by 2017, and remain below 3 percent through the rest of the decade," as quoted by USA Today.

4: The number of years in a row that the federal budget deficit has been at least $1 trillion, as reported by Bloomberg News and other media outlets.

8.0: The percentage of Americans who will be unemployed during any given month, on average, in 2012. Next year's unemployment estimates have been lowered to 7.7 percent, according to a report by Reuters. Earlier in the year, those estimates stood at 8.9 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

16.2: The projected amount, in trillions, of the total U.S. deficit at the end of 2012. That deficit is expected to reach $25.4 trillion by 2020, according to an Associated Press report.

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