Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Summary: "The federal budget deficit--although starting to shrink--remains very large by historical standards. How much and how quickly the deficit declines will depend in part on how well the economy does over the next few years. Probably more critical, though, will be the fiscal policy choices made by lawmakers as they face the substantial changes to tax and spending policies that are slated to take effect within the next year under current law. The pace of the economic recovery has been slow since the recession ended in June 2009, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that, under current laws governing taxes and spending, the economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years. That pace of growth partly reflects the dampening effect on economic activity from the higher tax rates and curbs on spending scheduled to occur this year and especially next. Although CBO projects that growth will pick up after 2013, the agency expects that the economy's output will remain below its potential until 2018 and that the unemployment rate will remain above 7 percent until 2015. […] The economic forecast was completed in early December 2011, and the estimates of 2011 values shown in tables and figures in Chapter 2 and Appendix E are based, except when otherwise noted, on information that was available by that date. Numbers in the text and tables may not add up to totals because of rounding. Unless otherwise indicated, years referred to in describing the economic outlook are calendar years, and years referred to in describing the budget outlook are federal fiscal years (which run from October 1 to September 30). Some of the figures have white vertical bars that indicate the duration of recessions. (A recession extends from the peak of a business cycle to its trough.) Supplemental data for this analysis are available on CBO's Web site (www.cbo.gov)."

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Congressional Budget Office: http://www.cbo.gov/
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