As Deficit Plummets, Feds Actually Saw Surplus in Dec.

Fiscal Q1 figures were looking decidedly up, CBO reveals
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2014 8:32 AM CST
As Deficit Plummets, Feds Actually Saw Surplus in Dec.
The shadow of Mitt Romney, is seen on a representation of the National Debt Clock as he speaks at a town hall meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., Feb. 24, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Don't look now, but after years of congressional dogfights, the federal budget deficit is in pretty good shape. The deficit plummeted by more than a third in October, November, and December—the first three months of fiscal 2014—the Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday, Reuters reports. In fact, December actually saw the government run a $44 billion surplus, and while that was a one-time thing that, according to the LA Times, "resulted from some special circumstances," it's still a good sign.

From October to December of 2012, the government had a $293 billion deficit, compared to $182 billion this time around—even though 2012 saw a December revenue surge from wealthy individuals hoping to avoid a 2013 tax bump. About 40% of the improvement came from revenue gains, while the rest came from spending cuts. And if the economy continues to grow at its current rate, the deficit should keep declining all year. Indeed, some economists—including Ben Bernanke—have argued that it's falling too quickly, endangering that growth. (More budget deficit stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.