A rare surplus of $113 billion in April helped slow the growth of this year's annual budget deficit and keep it on pace to be the smallest since 2008.
The Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit will be $845 billion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. While that's better than the past four years, when the nation ran deficits in excess of $1 trillion, it would still be the fifth-largest deficit in U.S. history.
Here's a look at the deficits over the previous 12 years, dating to 2001, the last time the United States ran a surplus. The surplus that year was one in a string of four from 1998 to 2001. That was the longest stretch in which the budget had been in surplus since the 11 years that ended in 1930.
Before the $1 trillion-plus deficits of the past four years under President Barack Obama, the widest gap had been the $458.6 billion deficit in 2008. That was President George W. Bush's last full year in office.
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Politics & Government
- Congressional Budget Office