WASHINGTON (February 12, 2013)--The federal government Tuesday reported a rare surplus for January and said it is on track to run its smallest budget deficit since President Barack Obama took office.
The Treasury Department said the government took in a surplus of $2.9 billion in January, which lowered the deficit through the first four months of the budget year to $290.4 billion, nearly $60 billion less than the same period a year ago.
The budget year began on Oct. 1.
The January figure was helped by an estimated $9 billion in extra revenue from higher Social Security taxes.
The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that this year's deficit will total $845 billion.
If correct, that would be first time government hasn't run an annual deficit in excess of $1 trillion since 2008.