U.S. government sees first surplus in four years in April

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government took in more money than it spent in April, the first monthly surplus in nearly four years. But few expect the black ink to last. The federal government is on track to exceed a $1 trillion deficit for the fourth straight year.

The Treasury Department says deficit totaled $719 billion through the first seven months of the budget year, which began on Oct. 1. That’s $150 billion lower than a year ago.

For April, the government recorded its first surplus in 43 months — $59.1 billion. That’s not unusual for this time of year, when annual tax returns are due.

Even with that improvement, the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the deficit will hit $1.17 trillion for the entire 2012 budget year.

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