1. What Deficit?

    U.S. Posts $113B April Surplus

    A pressman checks uncut sheets of USD 20 bills on July 12, 2012, at the US Bureau of Engraving (BEP) in Washington, DC, where the high-tech presses run 24-hours a day. The BEP  is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The BEP had its foundations in 1862 with workers signing, separating, and trimming sheets of Demand Notes in the Treasury building.  With production facilities in Washington, DC, and in Fort Worth, Texas,  during Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the BEP produced approximately 23.5 million notes a day with a face value of approximately USD USD 453 million. During Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, approximately 5.8 billion notes were delivered at an average cost of 9.1 cents per note.  Ninety-five percent of the notes printed each year are used to replace notes already in, or taken out of circulation.  Between the Fort Worth and Washington facilities approximately 8.5 tons of ink per day were used during FY 2011.    AFP PHOTO / Paul J. RICHARDS        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GettyImages)

    Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty

    What’s that? The government’s finances aren’t in the toilet? The U.S. posted a rare surplus for the month of April, adding $113 billion to the federal coffers and signaling that the country’s financial outlook is improving. The surplus was the largest in five years, and the government is on track to post the smallest annual deficit since 2008. Over the first seven months of the current budget year, the U.S. deficit was $488 billion, down from $720 billion in the same period last year. Higher tax rates and economic growth are responsible for improving the picture.

    Read it at The Associated Press