A new report released Tuesday says the government's budget deficit is set to fall to $514 billion for the current year, down substantially from last year and the lowest by far since President Barack Obama took office five years ago.
The Congressional Budget Office report credits higher tax revenues from the rebounding economy and sharp curbs on agency spending as the chief reason for the deficit's short-term decline.
But CBO sees the long-term deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy over the coming decade than it had previously predicted.
Last year's deficit registered $680 billion. Obama inherited an economy in crisis and first-ever deficits exceeding $1 trillion. The 2009 deficit, swelled by the costs of the Wall Street bailout, hit a record $1.4 trillion, while the deficits of 2010 and 2011 both registered $1.3 trillion.
The report predicted the economy will continue to rebound this year and grow at a 3.1 percent rate and by 3.4 percent next year. It foresees the jobless rate holding steady at 6.8 percent this year; the most recent nationwide unemployment rate registered 6.7 percent. It predicts the jobless rate remaining above 6 percent through the remainder of Obama's term.
CBO sees the deficit sliding to $478 billion next year before beginning a steady rise years through 2024 that would bring deficits back above $1 trillion a year.