U.S. heading toward April budget surplus: CBO

WASHINGTON Mon May 7, 2012 6:07pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will post a budget surplus for April, the first month it will have done so since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the Congressional Budget Office forecast on Monday.

"The Treasury realized a surplus of $58 billion in April 2012, CBO estimates, in contrast with the $40 billion deficit reported for the same month last year," the nonpartisan agency said in a statement.

The Treasury Department is scheduled to publish the official April budget statement on Thursday afternoon.

A Treasury spokesman said there has not been a monthly surplus since September 2008 when the economy was struggling in a severe downturn during the financial crisis.

A one-month surplus would not signal a turnaround in U.S. indebtedness. CBO forecast in January that the United States was headed for a fourth straight year of deficits that top $1 trillion during the current fiscal year that ends September 30.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters have forecast a smaller $30-billion surplus for April.

CBO cited some special factors at play in April, partly because of shifts in the timing of payments that would ordinarily occur in March or May but instead came in April.

As well, refunds to taxpayers who overpaid their 2011 taxes were about $14 billion lower this year than last year because some that ordinarily would have been recorded in April were made in prior months.

"Adjusted for those shifts, the surplus in April 2012 would have been $27 billion, compared with a deficit of $13 billion in April 2011," CBO said.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.