The federal deficit is expected to reach a record $3.3 trillion this year, over twice the largest level on record, but lower than earlier estimates, according to new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections.
The deficit will amount to 16 percent of GDP, the largest since 1945.
The explosion in the deficit follows a massive government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic devastation it caused.
Congress passed some $3.6 trillion worth of stimulus, health, and emergency relief measures to save the economy.
That, along with deep monetary interventions from the Federal Reserve, may have staved off an even worse economic outlook. Earlier estimates had pegged the annual deficit even higher, closer to $3.8 trillion.
The report released Wednesday also found that the nation’s debt burden is on track to surpass 100 percent of GDP for the first time since World War II in 2021, but remain at 98 percent this year, another retreat from some earlier estimates.
That estimate is up from 79 percent last year and 35 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.