Washington • The U.S. government is running a deficit that is 23.6 percent lower than in the same period a year ago through the first five months of this budget year, another sign of improvement in the nation's finances.
In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department says the deficit for February totaled $193.5 billion, the largest monthly imbalance in a year. The government traditionally runs large deficits in February, a month when it is sending out tax refund payments.
For the period from October through February, the deficit totals $377.4 billion.
Last week, President Barack Obama sent Congress a new budget which projects the deficit will fall to $649 billion this year, down from a $680 billion deficit last year.