The U.S. federal government reported a budget deficit of 27.4 billion U.S. dollars in January, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday.
The figure is sharply lower than the reading of 50 billion a year earlier. Much of the decline was due to accounting changes as the treasury said in the report that "military active duty and retirement pay, veterans' benefits and supplemental security income payments for January 1, 2012 were accelerated to Dec. 30, 2011."
The U.S. federal government raked in a revenue of 234.3 billion dollars in January, and registered outlays of 261.7 billion dollars.
In the first four months of the 2012 fiscal year, the budget deficit amounted to 349 billion dollars, about 70 billion less than the level of the same period of last fiscal year.
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan budgetary agency, forecast last week that the federal government would run a budget deficit of around 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars in this fiscal year ending September 2012.
The U.S. federal government registered a budget deficit of about 1.3 trillion dollars for the 2011 fiscal year. It marked the third fiscal year in a row that the government budget exceeded the 1-trillion-dollar threshold.