After a rare January surplus, the U.S. Treasury deficit clocked in at $203.5 billion for February, according to a Treasury Department report (link opens in PDF) released today. February is traditionally a month of low receipts, and this newest data slightly exceeded analyst expectations.


For FY 2013, the current deficit is $494.0 billion, a whopping 15% less than the same period in FY 2012. The improvement comes mainly from a 13.1% jump in receipts, overshadowing a slight 2.1% spending increase.

Reduced defense spending and lower debt payments have helped keep costs low for this fiscal year. At the government's current spending rate, debt interest accounts for $16.9 billion in interest payments per month, or 5% of total outlays.