Lower Government Deficit Comes With Mixed Encouragement

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The U.S. Treasury released its Budget statement for January 2014 on Wednesday afternoon. The deficit of $10.4 billion was far narrower than the $30.8 billion deficit expected by Bloomberg. It even came close to beating all deficit estimates from economists.

January's full treasury report shows $296 billion in total receipts versus $306 billion in outlays. Growth is helping to trim the government's deficit. The current fiscal deficit of $184 billion for 2014 is basically $100 billion less than the same Treasury deficit that we had seen at the same time a year ago.

Receipts are up 8.2%. Economic growth is helping, but last month's end of the nation's extended unemployment benefits has shaved about $7 billion off of the deficit. Spending was shown to be down 2.8%.

There are many things to point to which could create an exception, but this is a monthly number that not many readers want to go too deep into. Just keep in mind that at the end of January the debt held by the public was just over $12.3 trillion and the total government debt including $4.98 trillion in intragovernmental holdings came to $17.29 trillion.

Again, good news... even if the real good news would be that we could start working that deficit down rather than just keeping score by the deficit growing at slower dollar amounts than in the past.

Filed under: Economy

Originally published