Federal deficit down sharply in 2013

Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The Treasury Department said Wednesday the U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2013 was $680 billion, a five-year low, mainly due to higher revenues and spending cuts.

The gap is the smallest since 2008, when the deficit was $459 billion, and is 38 percent lower than the fiscal 2012 deficit, $1.1 trillion, MarketWatch reported. The $680 billion figure represents 4.1 percent of gross domestic product.

The treasury recorded a $75 billion surplus for September, MarketWatch said.

The Treasury Department said revenues in fiscal 2012 were a record $2.8 trillion for the fiscal year, up 13 percent from 2012. Revenues grew mainly on higher tax rates enacted in January and expanded economic activity.

Federal spending for the full fiscal year came to $3.5 trillion, down 2 percent from fiscal 2012.

Deficits have fallen annually since peaking in 2009, when the global economy was mired in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The report came as a House-Senate conference committee -- led by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. -- began work on a budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, to replace a temporary government funding agreement scheduled to expire Jan. 15. The temporary funding agreement ended the government shutdown that began Oct. 1 when Congress was unable to agree on a spending plan.

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