Record Revenue Boosts U.S. April Budget Surplus to 7-Year High

The U.S. budget surplus in April rose to the highest level since 2008 on record revenue as hiring improved during a month when Americans file tax returns.

Revenue exceeded spending by $156.7 billion last month, compared with a $106.9 billion surplus a year earlier, the Treasury Department said Tuesday in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 24 economists was for a $155 billion surplus.

Hiring bounced back in April as the jobless rate fell to 5.4 percent, the lowest since May 2008, from 5.5 percent month earlier. That’s swelling the Treasury’s coffers and improving the nation’s fiscal situation as spending gains 6.4 percent so far this year.

“We had a very solid improvement in tax receipts,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “It’s consistent with a solid economy.”

The April surplus was the fifth-highest on record for any month, according to the Treasury.

So far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit declined to $282.8 billion compared with $306.4 billion in the same seven-month period a year earlier.

Revenue increased 13.9 percent in April to an all-time high of $471.8 billion, while outlays gained 2.5 percent to $315.1 billion.

The Congressional Budget Office, which estimated the April surplus at $155 billion, listed higher spending on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security among the reasons for increase in outlays last month.

For more, read this QuickTake: Deficit Disconnect

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