The Treasury Department says the federal deficit grew just $260 million in December. But for the first three months of the budget year, the deficit is now $292 billion.
In December, tax revenue rose 12 percent to $270 billion. Spending fell 17 percent to nearly the same amount.
The budget year begins on Oct. 1. The size of the annual deficit will hinge, in part, on how Congress and the White House resolve a debate over raising the nation's borrowing limit. Republicans are demanding deep spending cuts in return for any increase.