Treasury reports lower deficit for 2013

The budget deficit for the first 10 months of 2013 stands at $607 billion, the Treasury Department reported Monday. 

It said the deficit for the month of July totaled $98 billion. 

The Treasury statement is broadly similar to deficit estimates provided by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last week. The CBO had forecast a deficit of $606 billion.

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The numbers reflect a major decline from last year, when the deficit through July had already reached $1 trillion. This year, the year-end deficit is expected to clock in at below $1 trillion for the first time in President Obama's time in office. 

The continued downward path for the deficit has emboldened liberals to call for increased stimulus spending in order to combat unemployment, which stands at 7.4 percent. 

Republicans say spending remains too high, and can point to the fact most of the deficit reduction comes from higher taxes that they say is hurting growth.