Fiscal Deficit

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DEFINITION of 'Fiscal Deficit'

When a government's total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates (excluding money from borrowings). Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Fiscal Deficit'

A fiscal deficit is regarded by some as a positive economic event. For example, economist John Maynard Keynes believed that deficits help countries climb out of economic recession. On the other hand, fiscal conservatives feel that governments should avoid deficits in favor of a balanced budget policy.

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