U.S. July budget deficit was $70 billion: Treasury
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. government ran a budget deficit of $70 billion in July, the Treasury Department reported Friday, bringing the total shortfall close to the $1 trillion mark for the first 10 months of fiscal 2012.
July's figure was $60 billion less than the shortfall posted in the same month a year ago, helped by both falling spending and higher receipts.
For the fiscal year through July 2012, the deficit is also lower than the same period a year ago: $974 billion versus $1.1 trillion.
While the deficit is shrinking, the Treasury continues to forecast a shortfall of more than $1 trillion for the entire 2012 fiscal year. The deficit has exceeded $1 trillion in each of President Barack Obama's first three years in office.
The federal government's fiscal year runs from October to September.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has hammered Obama on deficit issues and has pledged to slash government spending in a bid to stanch government red ink.
Obama's latest budget proposed spending cuts, but would also allow tax cuts for wealthy earners to expire. Republicans reject that approach to deficit reduction and argue that the Bush-era tax cuts should be kept for all households.
In July, the government spent $254 billion while taking in $185 billion.
Spending through July totals nearly $3 trillion, down modestly from the first 10 months of fiscal 2011. Receipts are up 6% fiscal year to date, totaling just above $2 trillion.