#federal deficit clock
Chart D.31f. Recent US Federal Deficits as Pct GDP
(click chart to see the numbers)
Federal Deficits were declining in the mid 2000s as the nation climbed out of the 2000-02 recession, down to 1.1 percent of GDP in 2007. But the recession that started late in 2006 drove deficits higher, with a deficit of nearly 10 percent of GDP in FY 2009, driven mainly by bank bailouts under the TARP program.
After the Crash of 2008 the federal deficits started decreasing, getting to 4 percent of GDP in FY 2013 and 2.4 percent of GDP in FY 2015.
Chart D.32f. Half a Century of US Federal Deficits
Betwen 1965 and 1990 the federal deficit generally increased, from 0.2 percent GDP in 1965 to 4.4 percent GDP in the aftermath of the 1990-91 recession. The only notable departure was a five year bulge in deficits in the early to mid 1980s due to the Reagan tax-rate cuts and defense buildup.
In the 1990s, during the Clinton administration, deficits consistently declined year on year, from a deficit of 3.9 percent of GDP in 1993 to a surplus of 2.3 percent GDP in 2000.
Tax cuts and the 2000-02 recession and the Iraq war caused a return to deficit spending in the early 2000s and the Bush administration, reaching 3.4 percent GDP in 2004. Deficits decline to 1.1 percent GDP in 2007 before ballooning to 9.8 percent GDP in 2009 in the downdraft of the Great Recession. Deficits declined to 2.4 percent GDP by 2015.