According to the Monthly Treasury Statement, the US government reported a deficit of $91.6 billion in October. These figures were lower than the $102 billion deficit expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Revenues climbed 8.0% YoY to $198.9B (strongest October revenues to date), while outlays fell 4.5% YoY to $290.52.4B. As a consequence, the deficit decreased by 23.6% compared to last year at the same period.
Rising employment, house prices and a payroll tax increase supported receipts while budget cuts combined with lower unemployment-benefit payments restrained outlays. Last month, the Treasury said the shortfall in fiscal 2013 was 4.1 percent of GDP. In the meantime the Congressional Budget Office projected it will decline to 3.3% this fiscal year and 2.1% in 2015.
Note that October figures also improved due to a partial government shutdown during the first half of the month which was suspended Oct. 17. The agreement to reopen operations created a House-Senate conference committee with a Dec. 13 deadline to offer ways to resolve the fiscal disputes between the parties.
The October figures offer a 29-member congressional panel a little room to maneuver during talks on government spending for the rest of the fiscal year. House and Senate negotiators met yesterday as part of an effort to write a budget in the coming weeks and were somehow optimistic concerning a potential compromise.