Federal government posts $176 billion April surplus as revenues shrink

by Jacob Fuller

The U.S. government reported a $176 billion surplus in April as revenues fell sharply from records set a year earlier, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday as a June 1 federal debt ceiling deadline drew closer.

The April surplus, which reflects tax filing season receipts, was down $132 billion or 43% from an April 2022 surplus of $308 billion, a record for any month that was fueled by massive COVID-19 spending and a strong stock market performance in 2021.

Revenues for April totaled $639 billion, the second-highest level since the April 2022 record of $864 billion, but a decrease of 26%. A U.S. Treasury official said the bulk of the decline was due to lower non-withheld individual tax receipts, reflecting lower stock market capital gains in 2022.

Outlays for April also fell 17% to $462 billion, but after calendar adjustments, they would have risen 9% to $535 billion.

The Treasury reported a $925 billion deficit for the first seven months of the 2023 fiscal year, a 157% increase from the $360 billion deficit a year earlier.

Copyright 2023 Thompson/Reuters