Budget deficit on track for best showing since 2008

A lower than expected budget deficit in July kept the federal government on track to produce its lowest shortfall in six years.

The imbalance ran $94.6 billion July, 3.1 percent below the $98 billion during the same same period last year, the Treasury Department’s monthly budget statement showed on Tuesday.

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Through the first 10 months of the fiscal year the deficit ran $460.5 billion, which is 24.2 percent below last year's levels, staying on pace for the best showing since fiscal 2008. 

The deficit was $607 billion through the same period of fiscal 2013.

During the peak of the recession, the 2009 deficit hit a record $1.4 trillion, staying above that high water $1 trillion mark for the following four years until finally dropping to $680.2 billion in fiscal 2013.

Overall, the Congressional Budget Office is expecting a deficit of about $500 billion when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, inching closer to the $458.6 billion deficit posted in 2008.

The July deficit comes on the heels of a $70.5 billion surplus in June, a figure boosted by quarterly tax receipts.

Overall receipts last month totaled $211 billion, up 5 percent from last year. 

For the first 10 months of the current budget year, which begins Oct. 1, receipts totaled $2.47 trillion, up 8 percent from the same period a year ago.

The deficit has been helped by a pick-up in jobs growth and more income taxes as well as an influx of corporate taxes as the economy finally picks up steam.

Outlays last month totaled $305 billion, up 3 percent from July 2013, and a 10-month total of $2.93 trillion.