Budget gap narrows to $69.6 billion in July vs. year ago

WASHINGTON Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:49pm EDT

The U.S. Treasury building is seen in Washington, September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

The U.S. Treasury building is seen in Washington, September 29, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Bourg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The monthly U.S. budget deficit shrank to $69.6 billion in July from $129.4 billion in the same month a year ago, reflecting a rise in government receipts and a drop in spending.

The Treasury on Friday said receipts totaled $184.6 billion in July, up from $159.1 billion a year ago. Government outlays fell to $254.2 billion, from $288.4 billion a year ago.

The $69.6 billion deficit in July was less than the $103.0 billion budget shortfall expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The drop in spending partly reflected $35 billion in recurring benefit payments made on July 1, a Sunday, that were accelerated into June, Treasury said.

July 2012 also had one more business day than July 2011, accounting for about $6 billion in additional receipts.

For the first 10 months of fiscal 2012, the government's budget gap totaled $974 billion, $126 billion below the corresponding year-ago deficit, the Treasury Department said.

Still, the deficit is on track to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year, a statistic Republicans frequently use to accuse the Obama administration of overspending.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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.