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US posts biggest April budget surplus as tax payments pour in

The U.S. government amassed a surplus of $214.26 billion in April, boosted by large individual tax deposits, the Treasury Department reported.

The agency said the government took in $510.45 billion in April and spent $296.19 billion.

It was the biggest budget surplus on record for the month of April, according to the Treasury. In the same month last year, the U.S. government ran a surplus of $182.43 billion, with $455.61 billion in receipts.

Receipts increased by about $19 billion last month due to an additional day of collections, while around $45 billion in outlays for military benefits and payments for welfare and healthcare programs accelerated into March.

"This surge in tax payments, a phenomenon we anticipated as far back as last July, helped bring down the government's Q2 borrowing need even more than usual," economists at Wells Fargo Securities said in a research note.

"Strong tax collections in April, however, have not altered our view that the budget deficit will materially worsen in the second half of the year, driving a much larger borrowing need," the economists added. They noted that payments typically swell in April as Americans file their tax returns.

In March, the government ran a budget deficit of $208.74 billion.

For the fiscal year-to-date that started in October 2017, the budget deficit stands at $385.44 billion.