US budget deficit up 77 percent so far this budget year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government recorded a budget surplus in January. But so far this budget year, the total deficit is 77 percent higher than the same period a year ago.

The Treasury Department says that the deficit for the first four months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, totaled $310.3 billion. That’s up from a deficit of $175.7 billion in the same period a year ago. The surplus in January was $8.7 billion.

The higher deficit reflected higher spending in such areas as Social Security, defense and interest payments on the national debt and lower tax collections for individuals and corporations, reflecting the impact of the $1.5 billion tax cut President Donald Trump pushed through Congress in 2017.

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