US Posts Record Monthly Budget Surplus as Economy Picks Up

Daniel Huizinga/Flickr

The United States posted its largest monthly budget surplus on record in April, which the Congressional Budget Office said reflected stronger economic activity over the past year.

Receipts in April totaled $510 billion, about 12% more than the same period last year, while outlays increased by 8.4% to $296 billion, the Treasury Department said May 10 in its monthly budget statement. The monthly surplus was $214 billion, the highest in records dating to 1968.

Receipts were boosted by an additional day of collections in April, to the tune of about $19 billion, Treasury said.

RELATED: Trade gap narrows to $49 billion; drop of $8.8 billion biggest since 2009

The federal government typically posts a budget surplus in April, when taxpayers face a midmonth deadline to file their returns. The non-partisan CBO, in a report May 7, said stronger economic expansion and income growth probably added to federal revenue in April.

Overall, the deficit for the first seven months of the fiscal year widened to $385 billion, from $344 billion a year earlier, according to Treasury.

Tax cuts and spending increases approved by President Donald Trump are expected to push the budget deficit to $804 billion in the current fiscal year, from $665 billion in fiscal 2017, and then surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2020, according to CBO. The Trump administration says the tax cuts will pay for themselves through faster economic growth.

The United States has seen a modest increase in wages amid a strengthening labor market. In April, U.S. hiring rebounded and the unemployment rate dropped below 4% for the first time since 2000, while wage gains cooled slightly in a sign that the labor market still isn’t tight enough to spur inflation.

With assistance from Vince Golle.