February 12, 2018 / 7:13 PM / 9 months ago

U.S. government posts $49 billion surplus in January

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies to the House Financial Services Committee on "The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government reported a $49 billion surplus in January, the Treasury Department said on Monday.

That compared with a budget surplus of $51 billion in the same month last year, according to Treasury’s monthly budget statement. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the Treasury recording a $51 billion surplus last month.

When accounting for calendar adjustments, the surplus last month was $20 billion compared with an adjusted surplus of $33 billion in the same month in the prior year.

In December, President Donald Trump signed into law a package of tax cuts that will add $1.4 trillion over 10 years to the national debt.

After Congress agreed on a wide-ranging deal last week, Trump also enacted a funding law that is expected to push annual budget deficits to about $1 trillion.

The deficit for the fiscal year to date was $176 billion, compared to a deficit of $159 billion in the comparable period for fiscal 2017.

On an adjusted basis, the fiscal year-to-date deficit was up 18 percent to $234 billion last month versus $198 billion in the previous year.

Receipts last month totaled $361 billion, up 5 percent from one year ago, while outlays were $293 billion, a 6 percent increase from the same month a year earlier.

As part of last week’s deal, Congress also extended the U.S. Treasury’s borrowing authority until March 2019. The Treasury had been due to run out of cash next month after it ran up against a statutory cap.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir

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