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THE FEDERAL BUDGET IN 2015
At $439 billion, the 2015 deficit constituted the smallest since 2007, and at 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, it was below the average deficit (relative to the size of the economy) over the past 50 years. However, the large deficits recorded during the most recent recession and subsequent weak recovery substantially increased federal debt in 2015, debt reached 74 percent of GDP, slightly less than the ratio in 2014 but higher than in any other year since 1950. Such a high level of debt could have serious negative consequences for the nation, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a financial crisis. DOWNLOAD