WASHINGTON – For the first time in five years, the U.S. government has run a budget deficit below $1 trillion.
The government says the deficit for the 2013 budget year totalled $680.3 billion, down from $1.09 trillion in 2012. That’s the smallest imbalance since 2008, when the government ran a $458.6 billion deficit.
The deficit is the gap between the government’s tax revenue and its spending. It narrowed for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 because revenue rose while spending fell.
Revenue jumped 13.3 per cent to $2.77 trillion, reflecting a slightly better economy and higher tax rates. And government spending declined 2.4 per cent to $3.45 trillion, in part because of across-the-board spending cuts that took effect in March.