The 16-day government shutdown and sharp federal spending cuts helped lower the U.S. budget deficit last month, signaling more improvement in the government's finances.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday the government ran a deficit of $91.6 billion in October, down 24 percent from the same month a year ago. The drop came after the government ran an annual deficit of $680 billion for the 2013 fiscal year that ended on September 30, the lowest in five years.
Government spending fell 5 percent in October to $290.5 billion, partly because of the shutdown and because of mandatory spending cuts triggered earlier this year by the inability of Congress to agree on medium-term deficit-reduction measures.
Tax revenue rose 8 percent in October compared with a year earlier to $199 billion. Higher taxes and weak economic growth have helped increase revenue this year.