April budget surplus largest in recorded US history

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday it had posted a budget surplus of $214 billion, as the government outlayed $296 billion against $510 in tax receipts for the month of April.

The previous record for April was $190 billion in 2001. The $214 billion surplus in April 2018 represents a 12 percent increase, $55 billion, from April 2017.

“Those payments were mostly related to economic activity in 2017 and may reflect stronger-than-expected income growth for that year. Part of the strength in receipts also may reflect larger-than-anticipated payments for economic activity in 2018,” the Congressional Budget Office said in its Monthly Budget Review.

Attributed to tax deposits, the Treasury also stated the record surplus was driven by stronger income growth and larger payments for economic activity.  April’s $214 billion surplus was a $40 billion increase from March 2018.

Accompanying the surge in tax receipts was an uptick in spending, which rose eight percent.  Economists say the spending increase was inspired by Social Security payments and an higher payments on the national debt.

Despite the record surplus, the expected deficit for the period of October 2017 to April 2018 was $385 billion, up from $344 billion from the same period last year.

The deficit from the 2018 fiscal budget is anticipated to be $848 billion, and exceed $1 trillion by fiscal year 2020.

In spite of the dreary numbers, the White House has repeatedly stated the 2017 tax bill will generate higher tax revenue and annual deficits will narrow.


[Reuters] [MarketWatch]