How To Interpret Mid-Season Budget Numbers

Next Tuesday is going to be a big economics day. The Obama administration and the Congressional Budget Office will each release their mid-season review of the budget. The most watched number is going to be the projections for this year’s deficit.

The administration has already leaked the news that it expects it to be about $1.6 trillion which is around $260 billion less than originally projected. Given that it will be the last week of August, a traditionally slow news week if ever there was one, you can expect a lot of press and blogging about this. For that reason, let me in advance give you two links that will tell you how to interpret the numbers and where to find the spin.

Keith Hennessey and Don Marron both have posts up that do admirable jobs of cluing you in on the meaning of the numbers and which ones have import. Remember this is as much a political exercise as an economic one, so don’t be bowled over by any of the claims.

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