(AP) — The U.S. federal budget deficit jumped in February from January, though it is still running well below last year’s pace. Higher taxes and an improving economy are expected to hold the annual deficit below $1 trillion for the first time since President Obama took office.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit grew in February by $203.5 billion. That followed a small surplus of $2.9 billion in January. And February’s gap was $28 billion smaller than the same month a year ago.
Through the first five months of the budget year that began on Oct. 1, the deficit is $494 billion. That’s nearly $87 billion lower than the budget gap for the same period a year ago.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the deficit will total $845 billion for the entire year. That would be down from $1.1 trillion in the 2012 budget year and the lowest since 2008.
Even with the improvement, the government would be required to borrow 24 cents of every dollar it spends this year