The federal government incurred a budget deficit of $845 billion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2012, CBO estimates in its latest Monthly Budget Review—about $80 billion less than the shortfall reported during the same period last year. Without shifts in the timing of certain payments the deficit so far this year would have been about $50 billion smaller than last year’s figure. Revenues were 5 percent higher and outlays slightly lower than they were at this point in 2011.
For April, the Treasury reported a surplus of $59 billion, about $1 billion more than CBO’s estimate in last month’s Monthly Budget Review, which was based on the Daily Treasury Statements. Because of the large inflows of tax revenues, the federal government usually runs a budget surplus in April—though that did not occur in 2009, 2010, and 2011. April was the first month since September 2008 in which the federal government recorded a surplus.
The Monthly Budget Review is prepared by Elizabeth Cove Delisle, Barbara Edwards, Daniel Hoople, David Rafferty, and Joshua Shakin.