One month ago we were pleasantly surprised to note that following 42 straight months of budget deficits, among them record ones, such as the ($231.7) billion recorded in February, the US finally managed to record its first budget surplus since September 2008. The number was a modest but positive $58 billion, although there was once again more than meets the eye. On May 7 we said that “without various temporal adjustments, the April surplus of $58 billion would have been completely netted out by the cumulative $57 billion in deficit time shifts. (Read more…)” More importantly, we said, “In other words, enjoy the surplus while you can: for another 30 or so days.” Sure enough, 30 days later, the number is out, and it is back to normality: the US recorded a deficit of $125 billion in May, on outlays of $305 billion and revenues of $181 billion. And so the “surplus” miracle is over.
Short-term deficit chart:
And longer-term. Note the lonely surplus outloer.