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US 2013 deficit falls to $680 bn, half of 2009 peak

AFP | Last Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 09:38

New York: The US budget deficit plunged 37.5 percent in fiscal 2013 to less than half its level four years ago on sharp spending cuts and surging revenues, the Treasury said Wednesday.

The shortfall for the year ended September 30 was USD680 billion, down from USD1.1 trillion last year and from more than USD1.4 trillion in 2009, when the government spent heavily to battle recession.

Receipts rose 13.3 percent, to USD2.77 trillion, helped more by personal income taxes while the corporate tax take lagged forecasts, the Treasury said.

Meanwhile spending fell 2.4 percent to USD3.45 trillion, down by USD84 billion, close to the amount required by the tough sequester spending cuts implemented in March.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew used the final data to call on Congress to restrain the next sequester cuts and allow a more expansive budget for the current year, to enhance economic growth, which remains sluggish.

"Under President Obama, the nation`s deficit has fallen for the past four years, the fastest pace of decline over a sustained period since World War II," Lew said in a statement.

"Congress must build on this progress by crafting a pro-jobs and pro-growth budget agreement that strengthens the economy while maintaining fiscal discipline."

First Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 09:38
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