U.S. posts April deficit for 3rd time in 30 years

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The government posted only its third April deficit in the past 30 years, according to data released Wednesday by the Treasury Department.

The $82.7 billion shortfall, the most ever run in the month when Americans file their tax returns, brought the deficit for the first seven months of the fiscal year to $799.7 billion. The year-to-date deficit was down marginally from $802.3 billion in the same period a year earlier.

It was the 19th consecutive monthly deficit and surpassed the $20.9 billion shortfall last April.

Historically, April has been a surplus month for the government because of the April 15 tax filing deadline. But the bank bailout and stimulus spending has contributed to monthly deficits over the last two years.

"Two consecutive years of April deficits is reflective of the depth of the recession," said Bob Bixby, executive director for the Concord Coalition, a federal budget watchdog group.

Receipts in April were about $245.3 billion, down from $266.2 billion a year earlier, and outlays were about $327.9 billion, up from $287.1 billion.

For the seven-month period, government outlays continued to outpace receipts. The government collected 11.6% less in individual income taxes - its largest revenue source - compared to the same period a year earlier. But the decline was slightly offset by a 8.9% jump in revenue from corporations.

The last time the government reported a surplus was just before the financial crisis in September 2008, when it posted a $45.7 billion gain.

The Treasury Department expects that the deficit will reach $1.56 trillion this fiscal year, up from a record $1.41 trillion in fiscal 2009.

The magnitude of the measures used to stem the crisis propelled President Obama to sign legislation that increased the government's debt cap to a record high $14.3 trillion earlier this year. U.S. debt subject to that limit totaled $12.95 trillion as of Wednesday.

The government's deficit has spurred worries about the U.S. government's ability to avoid a similar fate as Greece and other debt-laden European countries.

Although the nation has some advantages over Greece and is unlikely to automatically slip into the same dire budget crunch, Bixby said the fundamentals of the crisis are the same and that worries are valid.

Greece's problems are a "clear sign that we too need to get our act together," he said. "It's a worry because what's going on in Europe could slow the global recovery and that wouldn't be good for us either."  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,262.56 89.32 0.55%
Nasdaq 4,034.16 11.47 0.29%
S&P 500 1,842.98 12.37 0.68%
Treasuries 2.63 -0.01 -0.42%
Data as of 5:28am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.39 0.40 2.47%
Facebook Inc 59.09 0.20 0.34%
Yahoo! Inc 34.21 0.76 2.29%
The Coca-Cola Co 40.18 1.45 3.74%
Intel Corp 26.77 0.21 0.79%
Data as of Apr 15
Sponsors

Sections

GM CEO Mary Barra announced that the automaker has created a new "global product integrity" unit to ensure that a" situation like the ignition-switch recall doesn't happen again." More

Observers are warning that risks of a blow up in China's property market are rising, threatening a slowdown that could hurt global growth. More

Yahoo is still in the midst of its turnaround, but investors liked what they saw in the company's first-quarter results. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

In its ongoing battle to fight blight, Detroit is launching a website where it will auction off vacant homes seized in tax foreclosures. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.