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U.S. budget deficit in August totals $200 billion, on track to post nearly $1 trillion gap in 2019

The numbers: The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $200 billion in August, keeping the U.S. on track to tally a nearly $1 trillion gap in 2019.

The deficit fell almost 7% from $214 billion in the same month a year earlier, according to Treasury figures released Thursday.

What happened: Government spending dipped 1.1% in August to $428 billion compared to a year earlier, while tax receipts rose 4% to $228 billion.

The government collected $7 billion in customs duties in August, bringing the total in fiscal 2019 to $64 billion.

These duties have surged after the Trump administration imposed stiff tariffs on Chinese goods amid an ongoing trade dispute, but the spat has also contributed to a slowdown in the global and U.S. economies.

By contrast, the U.S. collected $36.7 billion in custom duties through the first 11 months of the prior fiscal year.

Big picture: The budget deficit reached $1.07 trillion in August, but the deficit almost always falls sharply in the last month of the fiscal year in September.

The full-year deficit is expected to total around $960 billion, based on the most recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

A rising government deficit can lead to higher interest rates, but that hasn’t been the case this year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield stands at just 1.79%, well below last year’s peak of 3.23%.

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