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US government ran a $214.3 billion surplus in April

Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government swung to a surplus of $214.3 billion in April, primarily reflecting the revenue from that month's annual tax filing deadline.

The Treasury Department reported Thursday that last month's surplus increased 17.4 percent from a year ago. The April surplus reflected both an increase in tax revenue and a decrease in the costs of certain health care and benefit programs that were pulled forward to March.

Federal income tax returns were due on April 17. The month usually generates a surplus even if the government is on pace to run a deficit for the entire year. The government collected $314 billion in individual income taxes in April, about $100 billion more than what it received from all its revenue sources in March.

For the first half of this budget year, the deficit totaled $385.4 billion. This marked 12 percent jump from the same period last year, an increase largely driven by the tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the budget deficit this year will total $804 billion, a $140 billion increase from last year. The yearly budget deficit is projected to approach $1 trillion in 2019 and remain above that threshold for the foreseeable future.