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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
US budget surplus shrinks
George W Bush and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
Managing the economy is getting tougher
The US budget surplus in April will be the smallest since 1995, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast.

A wave of income tax receipts usually boost the surplus in April.

But these receipts were drastically lower this year, according to the CBO.

The decline in income tax payments and social insurance taxes was "the largest percentage decline in decades," it said.

April is a critical month for the government's overall budget year because of the deadline for filing taxes.

Managing the US economy has been getting gradually tougher, as the government has implemented tax cuts to help boost the ailing economy whilst fighting the War on Terror.

Gloomy outlook

The CBO now predicts that the budget forecast will be $68bn, almost three times lower than the $189.8bn surplus achieved in the same month the previous year.

Corporate income tax collections fell 40% to $14bn.

Last year, a quarter of total income tax receipts were received in April.

The CBO, a non-partisan fiscal watchdog, declined to predict whether receipts would continue to be low for the rest of the fiscal year.

But it admitted that, even if the economy improved, receipts are likely to be "significantly lower" than projected in March.

See also:

04 Feb 02 | Business
Bush unveils 'war' budget
24 Jan 02 | Americas
US prepares for budget battle
29 Jan 02 | Business
The recession blame game
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