The U.S. government ran a much smaller deficit through the first two months of this budget year than it did in the same period last year, signaling further improvement in the nation’s finances.
The Treasury Department says the gap between revenue and spending for November was $135.2 billion. That’s 21.4 percent lower than November 2012.
Through the first two months of the budget year, which begins on Oct. 1, the deficit totaled $226.8 billion — 22.7 percent lower than the same period a year ago.
Higher tax rates and a better economy have boosted revenue, while spending has slowed. Those trends led to an annual deficit of $680 billion in the 2012 budget year, the lowest deficit in five years. Private economists predict the annual deficit this year will fall further, to around $600 billion.