US Posts First January Budget Surplus In Five Years

According to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement, the U.S. posted a budget surplus of $2.88 billion in January.  Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting a deficit of $2.0 billion.

According to Reuters, this is the first January budget surplus in five years.

Receipts were $272.2 billion while the spending was $269.3 billion.  This is important to remember, because budget deficits and surpluses aren’t just about spending levels.  Indeed, growth plays just as important a role.

Economists have been expecting the January report to benefit from the recent expiration of the payroll tax cut.  However, this report nevertheless surpassed expectations.

Just last week, the Congressional Budget Office forecasted that the U.S. budget deficit would fall to $845 billion this year, which would be the first reading under $1 trillion in five years.  Today’s surprise surplus should reinforce optimism that we’ll actually get there.

As GDP grows, the deficit shrinks.  To better understand this, read this and this.

Here’s a look at some historical numbers from the Monthly Treasury Statement.

us budget surplus

Photo: Treasury

us budget surplus

Photo: Treasury

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