U.S. August Deficit at $148 Billion

The Treasury Department announced an August deficit of $148 billion, according to a report (link opens as PDF) released today. That brought the annual budget gap through the first 11 months of the fiscal year to $755 billion, or 35% lower than the $1.16 trillion in red ink for the same period last year.

After July's $98 billion deficit put the Treasury back in the red after June's surplus surprise, this month's report represents another month of spending more than was taken in -- but long-term trends remain positive.

Overall August receipts (inflow) totaled $185 billion, up 3.6% from August 2012. Meanwhile, August 2013 outlays clocked in at $333 billion, down 10% from a year earlier. Individual income taxes provided the most money, while the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Defense spent the largest pieces of Uncle Sam's pie.

Source: Treasury Department.

So far this fiscal year, the deficit has totaled $755 billion, compared to $1.16 trillion for the same period last year. The government has been collecting more and spending less, with receipts up $285 billion and outlays down $124 billion. Steady economic growth has put more people back to work and boosted corporate profits. And Social Security taxes rose at the beginning of the year, along with income tax rates on wealthier Americans. At the same time, steep government spending cuts that took effect in March have lowered spending.

Looking ahead, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts the annual deficit will be $759 billion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. Each annual deficit contributes to the national debt, currently $16.7 trillion.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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