The United States has posted its first budget surplus in almost four
The Treasury Department said Thursday the country took in more money
last month than it spent for the first time since September 2008, just
before the global economic recession.
Americans pay their yearly taxes in April, so an increase in revenue is
not unusual. The country is also expected to post another
trillion-dollar deficit this year. But some economists believe the first
surplus in nearly four years is a sign the U.S. economy may be coming
back to life
The government also said Thursday that the U.S. trade gap widened in
March with the country importing more goods than it exported.
says the $52-billion increase in the trade deficit is a 14 percent jump
Officials cite higher prices for imported oil and a greater demand for
foreign-built computers, cars, televisions, cell phones and clothes.
U.S. trade with China accounted for about 40 percent of the overall
In a separate report, the government said that the number of first-time
claims for jobless benefits was slightly lower last week from the prior
week. Analysts said the level of initial claims for unemployment
compensation signal that the U.S. is poised for modest job growth.
The U.S. jobless rate dipped in April to 8.1 percent, but partly because
some workers stopped looking for new jobs and were not counted in the
monthly employment survey.