U.S. state spending topped $2 trillion for the first time in fiscal 2018, with Medicaid expenditures rising the most along with a significant increase in transportation spending, according to a report released on Thursday.
Total expenditures grew an estimated 4.8 percent compared to 3.8 percent in fiscal 2017, the National Association of State Budget Officers' (NASBO) annual state expenditure report said.
"The fiscal 2018 data presents a slightly improved fiscal situation than the prior two years," John Hicks, NASBO executive director, said in a phone interview.
"We're seeing a slight increase in the growth of spending both from total spending and states' own funds," he added.
The annual report focuses on the seven top state spending categories, which are elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, Medicaid, corrections, transportation and "all other."
Each category saw some growth in fiscal 2018, with public assistance rising the least at 0.7 percent and Medicaid, the state and federal healthcare program for the poor, growing the most at 7.3 percent.