WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government reported Wednesday that the U.S. budget deficit widened in May by $139 billion. But the annual deficit stayed on track to finish below $1 trillion for the first time since 2008.
Steady economic growth and higher tax rates have boosted the government's tax revenue. At the same time, government spending has barely increased.
With the May increase, the deficit through the first eight months of this budget year totaled $626 billion, according to the Treasury. That's down $218 billion lower than the same period last year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the deficit won't grow much before the budget year ends on Sept. 30. It forecasts an annual deficit of $642 billion. If correct, that would be well below last year's deficit of $1.09 trillion and the lowest in five years. It would still be the "fifth-largest" deficit in U.S. history.