Good news and bad news from the Congressional Budget Office's new semi-annual projections out Tuesday. The bad: The federal budget will likely be $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2012, the fourth straight year that it has topped the 13-figure threshold.
The good: That number is actually down slightly from the previous fiscal year's deficit of $1.3 trillion, and is the lowest—in both nominal terms and as a percentage of the economy—since the Great Recession of 2009.
The Wall Street Journal reports that budget analysts predict that the deficit will continue to fall over the next decade, averaging 1.5 percent of GDP between 2013 and 2022, compared with the 2012 deficit that is expected to be roughly 7 percent of GDP.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, notes that Congress' official budget score-keeping agency predicts that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent both this year and next, and above 7 percent through 2015. Real GDP meanwhile, is expected to climb 2 percent his year from the end of the 2011 calendar year.